Town starting competitive 2 percent process

The way Coupeville distributes its 2 percent lodging taxes will now officially be a more competitive process.

The council approved Tuesday night a resolution adopting the new policies and procedures for allocating the funds.

“This is something we’ve talked about for a long time,” said Mayor Molly Hughes. “We are moving to an open application process and from the way we’ve always done it.”

Previously the town had a pre-determined list of groups and organizations that could apply for funding.

Now any organization can apply; however, the council is requiring that all events and projects that receive funding take place within town limits.

The council also wants to emphasize that applications should show a “direct economic benefit” to the town.

The allowable grant requests include in following: tourism marketing; marketing for special events and festivals designed to attract tourists; supporting operations and capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by a municipality; and supporting operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by qualifying nonprofit organizations.

Applications will be due to Clerk Treasurer Kelly Beech by the last business day in September. Submissions will be rated based on whether it was turned in on time; if the applicant meets the grant criteria; if the project meets criteria and whether the application is complete.

Council will also rate each application, and combined scores will be used to create a starting point for selection.

Applications will be discussed and chosen during regular council meetings in October.

Funding will be based on the prior year’s 2 percent lodging tax revenue.

“We’re not like the county, we don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to give out,” Hughes said.

Town of Coupeville gives out roughly $27,000 annually in 2 percent funds.