Local groups seek TOT funds – Supervisors will begin deliberations on June 24

Community groups seeking Community Enhancement funds from the County of San Diego’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue offered their reasons June 9-10 at a designated San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearing.

Each county supervisor has a $599,393 Community Enhancement budget and will decide how much of his or her budget will be given to each group requesting funds. Although the revenue is derived only from TOT money collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county, organizations in incorporated cities are also eligible for funding.

Most organizations will receive less than the amount they requested. The money is not based on the previous year’s allocation, and there are no adverse consequences of asking for more money than will be granted. Each county supervisor also has a $1 million discretionary Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budget, so some Community Enhancement requests can be fulfilled by that source. The county supervisors will begin deliberations on the budget, including the Community Enhancement allocations, June 24.

Last year the American Association of University Women’s Fallbrook chapter began its participation in the Community Enhancement program by requesting $7,500 and receiving $3,000. This year the group’s $4,500 request covers $2,500 for the purchase of films for preview and rating to establish a circulation library in support of human trafficking awareness, $1,200 for interns and educators to analyze the age appropriateness and develop a rating system for films for student audiences, and $800 for postage costs related to data dissemination.

The Bonsall Chamber of Commerce requested $38,500 of 2013-14 TOT revenue and was allocated $15,000. This year the chamber has requested $71,500. The chamber seeks $30,000 for salaries, supplies, advertising, printing, postage, and office rent, $15,000 for an additional employee to double the chamber’s operating hours and add tourism center activities, $10,500 to expand the chamber’s service areas, $10,000 for printed versions of business and tourist attraction directories, and $5,000 for the Bonsall Country Festival.

The Fallbrook Art Association, which received $10,250 of last year’s $14,700 request, asked for $11,450 and would spend $10,000 for gallery rental and marketing for two annual shows at the Fallbrook Art Center, $1,200 for monthly art demonstrations, and $250 for Scarecrow Days activities.

Fallbrook Center for the Arts, Inc., requested $45,000 of 2013-14 revenue and was allocated $20,500. This year’s $61,500 request would cover $45,000 for marketing support, $10,000 for exterior signage at the art school, and $6,500 for exterior signage at the art center. Refurbishing signage at the Fallbrook Art Center was one of the allowable uses of a $20,000 Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant allocated May 20.

The 2013-14 Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce request for $155,000 resulted in a $60,000 grant. This year’s $150,000 desired amount would entail $60,000 for the Avocado Festival, $25,000 for business and economic development activities, $20,000 for tourism and visitors support, $20,000 for Hispanic business relations, and $15,000 for Christmas in the Village festivities.

The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society received $3,200 last year after requesting $5,000, which is also this year’s requested amount. The money would be used for meeting room audio/visual equipment for public meetings, school groups including home school groups, and community groups.

The $9,680 requested last year by the Fallbrook Land Conservancy Foundation produced a $7,922 grant. This year the $11,380 sought by the conservancy would fund $4,880 to clear trails and fire roads in the Santa Margarita Rivershed, $3,500 for Stage Coach Sunday activities, $1,000 for Walkabout Web Trail improvements, $1,000 for Walkabout Web Trail signs, $500 for Walkabout Web Trail print and electronic publicity material, and $500 for a video camera to prevent vehicle break-ins at the Sandia Creek Trailhead.

Friends of the Fallbrook Community Center are seeking Community Enhancement funding for the first time. The $8,000 would be used for the annual holiday tree lighting.

Full Access and Coordinated Transportation, Inc., seeks to provide public transit services to unserved residents. The total $48,000 requested amount includes $2,000 to promote expansion of FACT services into non-urban areas in the Fifth Supervisorial District including Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Valley Center, and another $34,000 would be used for support staff in District 5.

The Live Oak Park Coalition, which last year obtained $10,000 of its $21,000 request, would use the $25,000 sought for 2014-15 to replace wood chips in the playground area with a rubberized surface. On May 21, the county supervisors authorized a contract for Live Oak Park which will include that work and utilized developer fees as well as a $45,000 Live Oak Park Coalition donation.

The Pauma Valley Community Association sought $95,500 of 2013-14 funding and was given $10,000. The 2014-15 request of $27,800 comprises $20,000 for a shade cover for the existing play structure, $6,000 for solar lights for the front entrance, and $1,800 for playground bark for the existing playground.

REINS (Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths) was provided with $10,000 of last year’s $15,000 request. This yearm the desired $10,000 would cover $5,000 for the therapy on horseback program and $5,000 for a therapist consultation program.

The San Diego Winery-Vintner Community Development Council is a first-time applicant and requested $265,000. The association would spend $130,000 on planning activities, $50,000 for website development and marketing, $35,000 for membership activities, $30,000 for staff training, and $20,000 to facilitate the application of an inland North County appellation.

Two Greater Fallbrook organizations received 2013-14 funds but did not request TOT revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. The Fallbrook Healthcare Foundation was given $3,500 of last year’s $23,444 request while the Camp Pendleton Historical Society received the entire $3,000 it requested.

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