Saturday, April 20, 2024

Greater Williamsburg tourism alliance, Colonial Williamsburg request combined $2.3 million in city funds

Colonial Williamsburg is asking for $1.5 million in funding from the city. The organization received the same amount last year. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)
Colonial Williamsburg is asking for $1.5 million in funding from the city. The organization received the same amount last year. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)

Outside agencies requested over $2 million in funding from the City of Williamsburg during Monday’s city council work session.

The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, various nonprofits grouped under “human services,” and the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission all asked city council for upcoming fiscal year funding.

Two requests from the chamber and Colonial Williamsburg account for $2.3 million of the $2.8 million requested by outside agencies at the work session.

If approved, the funding will go to each organization for the 2019 fiscal year, which starts July 1 and ends June 30, 2019.

Council didn’t vote on the requests at its meeting, but will adopt a finalized budget May 10.

“Just because a request isn’t funded or isn’t fully funded that doesn’t diminish the work of that organization or it’s not a sign that the organization isn’t doing tremendous work in the community,” Mayor Paul Freiling said.  

Karen Riordan, president of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, requested level funding for her organization.

Last year, the chamber received $800,000 from the city. If the organization receives the funding, the money will be allocated to continuous marketing promoting Williamsburg as a tourist destination.

“It’s time to keep our foot on the pedal,” Riordan said.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation also requested level funding in the amount of $1.5 million from the city, according to a memo from Kevin Crossett, the foundation’s executive director, to city staff.

“This request reflects the overall increased media rates levied by the industry, and the increased competition from other destinations such as Asheville, N.C. and Savannah, Ga.,” Crossett wrote in the memo. 

Human services also requested a $2,551 increase in funding for fiscal year 2019. Last year, human services received $430,394.

Human services encompasses various organizations including Avalon, Child Development Resources, Peninsula Agency on Aging and Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center.

If the request is granted by city council, $551 will go to the Peninsula Agency on Aging and $1,000 will go to Olde Town Medical and Dental Center, according to city documents.

The Williamsburg Area Arts Commission asked the city for $75,500, which is the same amount the city granted for the fiscal year 2018 budget.

The arts commission spread last year’s contribution to 32 organizations for programming in arts education, visual and performing arts, arts festivals and arts advocacy.

The arts commission is also asking James City County for $75,500 and $4,500 from the state.

Council is scheduled to release its budget prior to April 1, according to the city website, and will present the budget at a public hearing on April 12. 

Troy Jefferson
Troy Jefferson
Troy Jefferson is the city of Williamsburg and James City County reporter for the WYDaily. Jefferson graduated from Michigan State University and the University of Maryland. When he is not writing stories, he enjoys romantic comedies.

Related Articles