The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners approved five signed grant agreements for the Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) Community Grants during a board meeting Wednesday, July 22.
In November 2013, Tillamook County voters approved a county-wide TLT, which requires that 70 percent of the tax be used for tourism promotion and tourism-related facilities. With input from the Tillamook County Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC), these organizations have been funded for these projects: NCRD Performing Arts Center ADA Restrooms and Lobby project, the Port of Garibaldi for the Garibaldi Lumber Pier to Public Dock Conversion Project, the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Ultimook, and South Tillamook County Emergency Volunteer Corps.
“On June 24, you first heard these grants presented by Nan Devlin, the executive director of Tillamook County Visitors Association,” Tillamook County Executive Assistant Melissa Egan said. “She led the TAC through this grant reviewing process and they made these recommendations to you.”
18 grants were awarded from the June 24 meeting. On June 22, the five signed agreements were presented to the commissioners for consideration.
NCRD received $75,000, which will be used exclusively for the project. The organization has been working on remodels for the Performing Arts Center for a few years.
“I’m excited about this project,” Commissioner Mary Faith Bell said. “I go to the Performing Arts Center for events and they have done a beautiful job of restoration there in the last 5-7 years and this will continue that project.”
Commissioner David Yamamoto said the TAC took the entire stack of applications, went through them with a fine-toothed comb and made recommendations to the commissioners. This is the fourth round of funds they have given out. In the past, pre-COVID-19, grant recipients have been able to participate in the presentation.
“You can see where and how this money is spent,” Yamamoto said. “I think it’s a great thing.”
The Port of Garibaldi received $22,000 for the Garibaldi Lumber Pier to Public Dock Conversion Project.
“They’re spending it on things like fencing, picnic tables, educational signs, which are being donated by the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, and they will be supporting the project through labor,” Egan said.
The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership received $75,000 for the Estuary Exploration and Education Center Phase II Feasibility Analysis project. The first phase worked with public policy. The partnership has been in the county for 20 years.
The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership will be contracting with an architecture firm. TLT funds have also supported this in previous phases.
Ultimook received $75,000 from Tillamook County the Commercial Kitchen and Recreation Events Center on the Hydrangea Ranch project.
“Ultimook is a nonprofit that hosts cross country events of all kinds for young runners,” Egan said. “They have an awesome schedule of camps they had to cancel this year.”
Oregon Coastal Flowers supports this project through construction loans. The total cost of the project is $446,000.
“This [project] is going to support not only the county, but the youth of our county, which I feel is extremely important,” Yamamoto said.
South Tillamook County Emergency Volunteer Corps received $10,000, which will be used for general operating support. Yamamoto said emergency preparedness is extremely important. When visitors come to the county, they need to understand the risks and should bring extra food and anything they can to be prepared for an emergency.