Writers, painters events earn HOT funds

A second wave of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund proposals hit the Wimberley City Council Nov. 3 with city leaders approving two for the second quarter 2017.

But a second try for funding by the Wimberley Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau was placed in hiatus after council returned the application.  

Traci Calamari, who filled in for HOT Committee Chairman Tomas Palm, presented the applications, which were submitted by three groups.  

Council first approved $3,000 in HOT funds to the Hill Country Writing Symposium, which is an event attempting to reach local authors interested in participating in writing workshops at the Wimberley Village Library. 

The symposium requested $7,500 of the HOT committee, but council granted partial funding based on the committee’s recommendation. 

Wimberley city leaders then approved partial funding for Paint Wimberley, which is a 2017 event sponsored by the Wimberley Valley Arts League. 

Event organizers requested $20,000 of the HOT committee. The committee’s recommendations led council to award $14,000 to the event. 

“They’ve got to be able to attract the sort of overnight visitors that would constitute that sort of investment,” she said.  

Although both approved applicants expressed gratitude to the council, organizers of Paint Wimberley were disappointed in the system.  

“I’m disappointed by the general feeling I get when I go to a HOT meeting, simply because it feels like it’s a negative thing going on.” said Stan Allen with the Wimberley Valley Art League. “We’re just begging for funds. And these are ideas that we work and work and work on with something that fits as close as we can to what the HOT wants, but definitely help Wimberley.”

 The city council returned an application from the Wimberley Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, which tried for a second time to receive HOT funds. The application had been reviewed by city council in October. 

The bureau had requested $100,000 for facility renovations, but the application was returned because it was incomplete and did not provide sufficient evidence of ROI. 

“We did send back to them that we would like to work with the visitors center, granted they provide us a plan that promotes overnight tourism, and follow the guidelines in place to receive funding,” said Calamari. 

HOT fund requests 

Hill Country Writing Symposium: March 16 – 18, 2017 at the Wimberley Village Library
• $7,500 requested
• $3,000 approved
Paint Wimberley: TBD 2017, hosted by the Wimberley Valley Arts League
• $20,000 requested
• $14,000 approved
Facility renovations for the Wimberley Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau
• $100,000 requested
• $0 approved

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