City works to ease applying for revitalization funds


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



Mayor John Stanforth, left, sits next to Councilmember Jonathan McKay, who was appointed temporary Council President during Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting. Council President Mark McKay was absent due to traveling, and President Pro Tem Kelsey Swindler was absent due to recently giving birth to her son.

Mayor John Stanforth, left, sits next to Councilmember Jonathan McKay, who was appointed temporary Council President during Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting. Council President Mark McKay was absent due to traveling, and President Pro Tem Kelsey Swindler was absent due to recently giving birth to her son.


John Hamilton | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Applying for the City Hotel Lodging Tax is getting closer to an easier application process.

During the Judiciary Committee report at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, council held the first reading of a resolution approving an application guide for Wilmington’s City Revitalization Grant.

“We’re only going to be doing the first reading on this tonight, so it gives people time to investigate it if they wish,” said Judiciary Committee Chair Matt Purkey.

The Lodging Tax was established in 1997 and imposes a 3-percent tax on lodging transactions within the city limits. In 2017, council established a new fund to disperse the retained portions of the tax funds, called the Retained Hotel Lodging Tax Fund.

“The purpose of the fund is to support local initiatives that will positively impact economic and community development as well as improvement to quality of life within the city of Wilmington,” according to the application guide.

Eligible projects are ones that “attempt to bring patronage to Wilmington businesses, promote heritage and attractions, and to contribute to the quality of life for those residing within the city.”

Projects/events that are ineligible include one held outside the city’s corporate limits and ones already completed prior to funding approval. Those seeking funding for operating costs of established events or projects — new or expanded ideas or features of established events or projects — are eligible.

Council established a City Revitalization Committee to oversee the distribution of the collected revenues of the fund in the form of grants, projects, and events deemed to fit.

The step-by-step process for applying will include filling out the application, presenting the event/project to the committee, a review of it by the committee with a final decision being made at the next council meeting, distributing the funds if approved, and a post-project review/summary due two weeks after the project ends.

To get approved by the committee, they would have to achieve a certain score through a rubric of the city.

There are two separate rubrics, one for events and one for projects, with both scoring the projects/events in six categories.

If they score 30 or lower, the applicant’s request will be denied. If they score between 30 and 44, points the committee will vote on whether or not to recommend it to full council. Score 45 or greater and the committee will recommend the project to full council.

The next reading is set for the Nov. 1 council meeting.

Mayor John Stanforth, left, sits next to Councilmember Jonathan McKay, who was appointed temporary Council President during Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting. Council President Mark McKay was absent due to traveling, and President Pro Tem Kelsey Swindler was absent due to recently giving birth to her son.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/10/web1_RGB_DSC_0025.jpgMayor John Stanforth, left, sits next to Councilmember Jonathan McKay, who was appointed temporary Council President during Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting. Council President Mark McKay was absent due to traveling, and President Pro Tem Kelsey Swindler was absent due to recently giving birth to her son. John Hamilton | News Journal

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574