As a show of support, Marion County Commission donated $2,500 Monday toward expenses associated with the county hosting Symphony in the Flint Hills in 2009.
County economic development director Teresa Huffman told the commission that a $17,000 budget had been established to cover expenses associated with the event next summer and asked the county to provide $6,000, which can done over a two-year period since the symphony doesn’t take place until 2009.
Commissioner Randy Dallke asked Huffman about funds being used from the Marion County Economic Development Council’s budget. Huffman said excess funds from years past have been spent for marketing efforts and to purchase a used bus.
Huffman reported that a steering committee had been formed and will meet at noon Oct. 4 at Grandview Park, Florence, to discuss the event.
The event has attracted up to 30,000 people with 7,000 of them attending the concert. Huffman said when people come for the concert, they want to shop and eat. Food and crafts vendors are being sought to set up June 12 and 13, 2009, in downtown Florence, to accommodate the visitors. Entertainers also are needed.
“This isn’t a one-time experience for most people. They’ll come back,” Huffman said.
The communities who have hosted the pre-symphony activities have indicated that visitors are not interested in historic tours but are interested in music, food, and shopping.
“It’s going to be good for the county,” commission chairman Bob Hein said.
County funding for the symphony will come from sales tax revenue.
In other business:
- The commission reviewed information from Marion Economic Development Director Doug Kjellin regarding the renewal of the city’s neighborhood revitalization program. Currently the city offers a 90 percent property tax rebate during a 10-year period to qualifying property owners. The county’s revitalization plan provides a tax rebate that is reduced each year during the 10-year period. Kjellin was requesting input from the taxing entities participating in the rebate program.
- Commissioner Dan Holub requested and received a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.
- The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the courthouse. The commission will not meet Monday since the last day of the month (payday) is the following day.