Brookings City Council this week overruled its Tourism Promotion and Advisory Committee’s (TPAC) denial of a request for money for the annual Fourth of July fireworks, on a vote of 3-1, with Councilor Roger Thompson voting against it.
Barb Ciaramella, who organized the event last year, sought $2,000 toward the $26,000 cost of the extravaganza; the council opted to contribute $1,000 out of the TPAC’s budget.
The tourism committee declined the request earlier this month saying it did not fit their criteria. TPAC was formed to advise the city council whether to contribute lodging tax revenue for new, off-season events, of which the Fourth of July is neither.
TPAC members who spoke against the proposal at Monday night’s meeting said the expenditure used to be a line item on the council’s budget and should be funded that way again. Ciaramella took up the fundraising last year after veterans organizations in town said they could no longer do the arduous fundraising every year.
Because the event attracts people into town — the goal in spending lodging dollars — Ciaramella submitted a request for funding.
Thompson said he voted against funding the event because it doesn’t meet TPAC’s funding criteria, the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year and area hotels fill up all summer as it is. Also, unlike other entities that request TPAC funds, Ciaramella has never submitted a detailed budget showing where all the money is spent.
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