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Motel tax divided up to help promote Joplin events - KOAM TV 7

Motel tax divided up to help promote Joplin events

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The Joplin city council is finalizing how to spend the City Visitor's Bureau (CVB) $100,000 grant saved for local events each year.

Events receiving money this year include the Joplin Memorial Run, Boomtown Festival, and the Spiva Center for the Arts.  The public was welcomed to the city council meeting to finalize how to divide an annual motel tax spent on city events.

"It's a public hearing, those who are for it, those who are against it will speak and the council gets the final decision," says CVB Director Patrick Tuttle.

The Joplin CVB received more than $180,000 worth of grant requests, but only had $100,000 to hand out, meaning readjustments had to be made.

"No one was rejected, they all got lesser funding, based on what the board saw their presentation was about," says Tuttle.  "The fact that they support Joplin and they bring people to town is really the key thing we are looking for.  The second thing is how can those events become annual events that are self sustaining."

Some events got significantly less money than they hoped.  For example, Dogs in Downtown will receive only $5,000 of the $20,000 requested.

The Joplin Memorial Run, however, will receive almost all of the $20,000 grant limit.

"We're really becoming good at standing on our own and they really have been impressed by the way we are budgeting our funds," says Ruth Sawkins of the Joplin Memorial Run.

The Memorial Run says public involvement is a great way to check that enough money is being given to events that bring heads in beads and out of state visitors to Joplin.

"This is our run, this is Joplin's run, so if it has anything to say it will be all positive so we welcome feedback," says Sawkins.

With 400 hotel rooms booked and 33 states represented in last years race, the Memorial Run says they fit the bill.

The CVB says it's always looking to award grants to events that will help put Joplin on the map and will be around in Joplin for the foreseeable future.

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