The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Ritzville's 110 Tourism Funds approved-with a hitch


Last updated 12/19/2019 at 11:45am

As part of the approval of the 2020 Ritzville City Budget, $220,000 has been set aside for the 110 Tourism Funds. To which organizations that money will go, however, is still up in the air after the Dec. 3 city council meeting.

The $220,000 that the city agreed to award in tourism funds as part of the 2020 budget is a 10% increase from the previous projection of $200,000 that was discussed at the Nov. 19 city council meeting. The additional $20,000 is slated to be awarded to the Ritzville Golf Course clubhouse for a variety of projects.

Councilmember Mark Weigand had made the motion for the council to approve the 110 Tourism Fund as presented, but a discussion ignited before a vote could be held.

Councilmember Scott Yaeger, who had missed the Nov. 19 meeting, mentioned that part of the process for organizations to request the tourism funds is that they must provide a budget as part of the application. He questioned whether the city should be awarding funds to the organizations that didn’t properly apply for funding.

“I don’t think that’s fair to the rest of the applicants,” Yaeger said. “It’s part of the application. So how can we give them money when they don’t have a complete application? … It should be fair, and that’s not fair.”

Clerk-Treasurer Julie Flyckt said that there’s more than one way to look at a budget.

“There’s the traditional way, like what we have, where you see all the numbers,” said Flyckt. “Some of these organizations are not large and they don’t produce the budget. They do a lot of written narratives for budgets.”

Weigand sought to amend his motion to remove the funding for the organizations that had not filled out a proper application, which would have represented $13,000. Before a second was made and a vote could be held, councilmember Mike Schrag said that this is something that should have been caught much earlier in the budget process.

“I understand where [Yaeger’s] coming from, but this should have been caught very early,” said Schrag. He asked if the city could ask the affected organizations to resubmit their applications or allow them to remedy the situation.

After a conversation among councilmembers and city officials related to the budget process, it was agreed that the council could approve the total expenditure amount in the 110 Fund, $220,000, without having to specify how much funds would be awarded to each individual project.

Mayor Gary Cook asked Weigand if he would like to again amend his motion to reflect that, and he did, adding that he would still like the city to obtain the budgets from the organizations in question before awarding them funds.

The motion was seconded and approved on a 6-1 vote, with councilmember Michelle Plumb voting nay.

More information on the 110 Tourism Funds and the city’s recently approved 2020 budget will be provided by The Journal in the coming issues.


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