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West Pasco Events Might Get $40,000 Boost

The county wants to award a total of $80,000 this year.

Several New Port Richey area events are one step closer to getting a big financial boost from county tourist tax dollars.

According to a media release, the county’s Tourist Development Council wants to give 10 organizations a total of $80,000 combined from its Local Special Event Grant Fund program. Nearly $40,000 of the money in this year’s funding pool is recommended for spending on West Pasco events. The funding decisions were made during a meeting yesterday.

The money awarded comes from the county’s 2 percent tourist development tax, which is collected from such locations as motels, hotels, campgrounds and short-term rentals. Money awarded through the grant program can be used by organizations for event marketing purposes.

A grand total of $112,000 was requested by 10 organizations this year. The number of requests was down from last year’s 17, according to the release.

The council’s recommendations for funding will now go to the Pasco County Commission for final approval.

Some of these events or the organizations that plan them get subsidies from the city of New Port Richey, but city leaders, confronted with dire financial straits, are considering cutting back city funding in fiscal year 2013. Officials are proposing the city's annual grant to Greater New Port Richey Main Street, which organizes Cotee River Seafood Fest and other events. Officials are receommending cutting that subsidy down to $10,000. T

The budget calls forthe city to spend $50,000 on special events in the upcoming fiscal year, including Chasco Fiesta and the Cotee River Bike Fest.

The agencies up for funding and the amounts are:

Chasco Fiesta $21,254 Cotee River Bike Festival $11,559 Cotee River Seafood Festival $4,577 Pasco Eco Fest $2,108 Harvest Festival $4,288 Pasco Bug Jam $11,801 Pasco County Fair $6,130 Suncoast Arts Festival $6,808 Wesley Chapel Fall Festival $4,972 Kumquat Festival $6,504

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