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Chambers will get their full funding

Britt Retherford

Threatened with losing $60,000 that could promote tourism in Nevada County this next fiscal year, members of the county’s Chambers of Commerce persuaded the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday to keep the money flowing.

The board unanimously agreed to restore full funding to the Chambers of Commerce, a decision that was met with applause from the audience.

The cuts were proposed as a result of this year’s annexation of the Brunswick Basin to Grass Valley. The annexation included the Gold Country Best Western, which serves as a $120,000 source of revenue for the county in the form of the Transient Occupancy Tax, or bed tax. With the annexation, the revenue generated from the tourism tax is transferred to the city of Grass Valley.

Supervisors questioned why Grass Valley should not pick up the tab for the Chambers of Commerce now that they have more money in their own pot.

“The money is still there, just in a different bank account,” Supervisor Peter Van Zant said.

“We are more than a community partner; we market Nevada County to the outside world,” said Maryann Mueller, executive director of the Joint Chambers of Commerce.

After hearing testimony from several members of the county’s Chambers who expressed a similar concern to Mueller, Supervisor Sue Horne proposed that full funding be restored. She further asked that in the future the money be “worked in as a high priority” to the county budget.

Supervisors Van Zant, Barbara Green, and Robin Sutherland agreed with Horne and voted to pull the lacking funds from the county’s $100,000 contingency budget.

Sutherland said she hoped that some of the money would be used for an information board at the Grass Valley airport that would welcome visitors flying through the area and entice them to stay.

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