By Joe Naiman
Ramona Chamber of Commerce and Ramona Pioneer Historical Society are among the community groups seeking Community Enhancement money from the County of San Diego’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue.
The groups offered reasons for their requests at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearings June 6-7. Ramona Chamber of Commerce requests $61,000 and Ramona Pioneer Historical Society seeks $26,000.
Each county supervisor has a $500,000 Community Enhancement budget and will decide how much of his or her budget will be given to each group requesting funds. Although the revenue is only from TOT money collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county, organizations in incorporated cities are also eligible for funding.
Most organizations will receive less than the amount they requested. The money is not based on the previous year’s allocation, and there are no adverse consequences of asking for more money than will be granted.
Each county supervisor also has a $1 million discretionary Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budget, so some Community Enhancement requests may be fulfilled by that source. The county supervisors will begin deliberations on the budget, including Community Enhancement allocations, June 28.
Last year the Ramona chamber requested $90,000 of 2010-11 TOT revenue and received $42,000. This year the chamber has requested $50,000 for the Ramona Country Fair, Open Artist Studio Tour, Safe Trick or Treat on Main Street, annual horseshoe tournament, and installation dinner; $10,000 for overhead and operating expenses; and $1,000 to update the Ramona Guide to include new businesses and historical sites.
Ramona Pioneer Historical Society received $15,000 of its $21,000 request last year. This year the society hopes to obtain $16,000 for the Guy B. Woodward Museum’s secretary, $8,000 for general museum operating expenses, and $2,000 for upkeep of facilities and maintenance of the grounds.