Tourism funding committee forms

A new Langley committee will help with doling out tourism funds.

The Langley City Council decided to form an ad hoc committee to help council members make grant decisions by grading applications. The money is raised by a tax on lodging and is earmarked under state law for “promotion of tourism or construction and operation of tourism-related facilities,” according to the state Department of Revenue.

Langley City Council member Dominique Emerson said cities with less than 10,000 in population aren’t required under law to have a committee to make recommendations about the awarding of funds. In the past, the council discussed and debated the requests during a council meeting and awarded the funds.

The council, however, decided that the applications should be judged by a specific criteria.

The ad hoc committee’s first job, Emerson said, would be to create the criteria. She said one example of a possible criterion is whether the proposal would attract tourists during the “shoulder season.”

The group would then use the criteria to score the applications and present them to the city council, which makes the funding decisions.

“It’s pretty cut and dried,” Emerson said.

The ad hoc committee will only need to meet before the city’s annual budget is set and as unbudgeted requests come forward, according to a press release from the mayor’s office.

The committee will be small. Council members Emerson and Bruce Allen will be the council representatives. They are still looking for a representative from the restaurant industry.

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