Utah County commissioners will once again dish out surplus restaurant tax monies to help local communities with cultural, recreational and tourism events and facilities.
The pie available to split this year is about $125,000. The revenue is generated by the tax placed on meals at local eateries.Most of the funds generated by the tax goes toward repaying bonds used to construct the David O. McKay Special Events Center at Utah Valley State College. Since being imposed a few years ago, however, the tax has generated more money each year than needed to make the annual bond payment.
Eleven entities will get a piece of this year's surplus if the Utah County Commission accepts the recommendations made by a committee comprising Utah County Commissioner David Gardner, Salem Mayor Randy Brailsford and Lehi Mayor Ken Greenwood.
The committee sifted through 15 applications to recommended the following allocations:
- $10,000 for the American Fork Arts Council, which had asked for $15,000 to help defray the $65,000 cost of renovating and improving the amphitheater on the State Developmental Center property.
- $8,968 to Goshen, which asked for the money to help fund $35,875 in improvements to the Goshen Community Park and Ballfield.
- Lehi is asking for $50,000 to the $200,000 cost involved in restoration of the Utah Southern Railroad Depot in Eastmond Park. The committee is recommending $40,000 be approved.
- $6,162 to Lindon to defray the $24,650 cost for improvements at Lindon's Pioneer Park.
- Orem asked for $75,000 to help pay for construction of a multi-regional golf/softball/multi-use trail project that will cost $7,320,000. The recommendation is that $25,000 be contributed.
- The Payson Scottish Festival Association asked for $2,800 of the $16,000 cost incurred in putting on the annual festival. Only 25 percent of the actual advertising cost - $378 of $1,500 - is eligible for funding from the restaurant tax.
- Pleasant Grove City is asking for $10,000 to help put in $35,000 in improvements at the Heritage Park. The recommendation is that $8,750 be contributed.
- Provo is asking $22,000 for the $88,000 Sesquicentennial Celebration to occur between January and September of 1999. The recommendation is for $2,500 to be contributed, representing 25 percent of the advertising budget as outlined in the policy guidelines.
- Provo is asking for $10,000 to help with the $119,736 cost incurred by staging the Winterfest and First Night activities. As $71,000 is listed as the advertising budget, $10,000 can be approved. In addition, the Historic County Courthouse and grounds are made available rent-free.
- Santaquin's Chieftain Museum wants $2,000 against the $4,000 cost in constructing an exhibit at the museum. $1,000 is recommended for approval.
- The American Legion Post #79 in Lehi asked for $15,000 to fund $30,000 in improvements at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The commissioners were not sure cemeteries were included in the definition of cultural or recreational facilities.
Those not expected to be approved include:
- Lehi's recreation department wants $4,161 to help fund a roller hockey league that will cost $16,645 to start up. Not enough specific information was included and funding of a sports league is not an allowed use of the tax money.
- Orem submitted a request that money be contributed toward building of a regional skate park facility. Since the information on costs was not included in the request, it was not evaluated.
- Payson Community Theatre asked for $2,800 to defray the $15,450 cost incurred in putting on the musical "Forever Plaid" and a "Thirtieth Year Concert." Since the applicant is not a public entity, the request is not eligible.
- People Preserving Peteetneet of Payson want $7,660 to help with the $30,640 cost of constructing a picnic pavilion and playground area on the Peteetneet property. The applicant is not a public entity.