The dissolution of the City of Turlock and Chamber of Commerce’s contract to operate the Convention and Visitors Bureau is already taking shape as evidenced by the City Council’s lengthy deliberation Tuesday evening to decide who would administer grant funds, a job formerly reserved for the CVB.
In the past the CVB has developed a committee of community members who solicited applications from local organizations for Community Development Block Grants with some organizations requesting funds annually, such as California State University, Stanislaus. Although all of the applications have been submitted, this year funds have been delayed due to the indefinite future of the CVB.
On Tuesday, the Council decided between two candidates for the job: The Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission and the Community Development Block Grant Committee, whose members were appointed that evening. The decision was made slightly more complicated due to the university’s need for funds sooner rather than later. Unlike most organizations requesting funds, CSUS is on a critical timeline as the $5,000 they hope to receive will help the university run their Tournament of Champions softball tournament at the end of the month.
“We need to kind of move quickly and in an expeditious manner,” said Assistant to the City Manager for Economic Development and Housing Maryn Pitt.
CSUS Associate Athletic Director Kim Duyst said that in recent years the costs to operate the tournament, which is highly anticipated and can be an indicator of national ranking, has escalated quickly.
“If we don’t get additional funding we may have to cancel this in the future just because of the added cost,” said Duyst. “We normally have had the answer earlier but because of the whole transition… We can’t cancel the tournament this late just because we don’t get the money, but in the future if we don’t get sponsorship as well it could affect us hosting this tournament.”
There is a benefit to the community when CSUS hosts the tournament as more than 20 teams eat at local restaurants and fill up the hotels she said. Duyst also applied to receive an additional $5,000 for a soccer tournament which already took place. According to City Manager Roy Wasden, these amounts have been historically awarded to CSUS.
The Council unanimously voted to charge the PARC with administering the 2015 CDBG with one caveat: the council will vote on the two time-sensitive CSUS grant applications at their special meeting on Tuesday at which the Parks, Art, and Recreation programs will be discussed.
At the behest of Council member Matthew Jacob the Council also approved an amendment that once the PARC has determined which organizations will receive funds, final approval will rest with the Council. Council member Nascimento voted against this amendment, but the overall decision to charge the PARC with administering the 2015 CDBG program was unanimously approved.