Council to vote on $77K in tourism grants

Performer Ariele Ebacher performing at Henry Hudson Waterfront Park in 2007 with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. The Tourism Board approved a $15,000 grant for the circus to perform this year, which the council will vote on Tuesday. Courtesy of Stephanie Monseu/File photo

HUDSON — The Common Council will vote Tuesday on the approval of more than $77,500 in Tourism Board funds and the appointment of a new board member.

The board approved a $28,345 grant for the Waterfront Wednesday program before the council’s informal meeting Monday to bring programming to the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park this summer.

The project is organized by Elena Mosley from Operation Unite, performance artist Adam Weinert and Sam Merrett of the Schooner Apollonia. Tentative program plans include drum circles, children’s movies, music, sailboat rides, lighthouse tours, food vendors and possible dance performances, board member Kate Treacy said Friday.

The resolution was not prepared in time for the informal meeting earlier this week, but the resolution was ready for the council as of Friday afternoon, City Clerk Tracy Delaney said.

Four additional tourism resolutions pertaining to the use of board funds approved by the board were presented at the informal meeting this week.

One resolution is to approve $15,000 for an outdoor circus performance called Flatbed Follies put on by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. The event would consist of rolling circus stages pulled by pickup trucks that temporarily park in front of gathered audiences.

The circus applied for a grant from the board last year, but funds were considered too late for the show to be produced.

“My understanding is that the tourism board liked the proposal but we weren’t able to enact it within the time allotted,” circus co-founder Stephanie Monseu told the board April 5.

Monseu proposed the stages rotate around an open area, such as Charles William Park, 238 Mill St., or Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.

Another resolution is for $20,000 for the Warren Street Seasonal Use program, which is this year’s version of Shared Streets.

Shared Streets last year allowed retailers to expand merchandise and restaurants to host diners in parking spaces in front of their storefronts, which led to safety concerns. The resolution allows $10,000 to be transferred from the board to the Department of Public Works to install concrete barriers that will be required for the parking spots this year. The resolution also allows $10,000 to be transferred to the Columbia Economic Development Corporation to repair wooden planter boxes from last year’s program.

The other two resolutions are for the Hudson Business Coalition to receive the second installments of grants the board and council agreed to fund last year. The business group received a first installment up front for two programs and the resolutions allow the group to be reimbursed for the second half of the grant.

The group was granted $5,000 for the Hudson Bond program, which sells bonds with half the bond amount donated to local businesses and the other half redeemable at participating businesses. The group received the first installment of $2,500 last year for the program and the resolution Tuesday will allow the remaining $2,475 of the grant to be provided.

The business group was also granted $9,850 and $13,750 for two phases of a digital walking guide of the city on the Visit Hudson NY website. The group received $4,925 and $6,875 last year and the resolution Tuesday will approve reimbursement for the remaining $11,738 used for the project.

The council will also vote Tuesday on the appointment of Hudson resident Ivy Dane to the board. Dane would fill former board member Sidney Long’s term, which she decided not to renew after it expired in December 2020. The council appoints four members of the board and the mayor appoints the other four.

Dane is a long-time Hudson visitor and has lived here for three years, Common Council President Thomas DePietro said Friday. Dane has been following the board’s activities, is friends with a number of people on the board, has volunteered at Rolling Grocer 19, 6. South 2nd St. and is a producer of television commercials.

The Tourism Board’s budget came from a 50% allocation of the city’s lodging tax revenue until March 2020, when Local Law 2 eliminated the board’s allocation.

The board had more than $400,000 at the end of 2019 and spent about $160,000 in grants and about $54,000 for the Shared Streets program in 2020.

The board requested to use $30,000 of its funds for a project manager for the Warren Street Seasonal Usage program this year and the council denied the full request, allocating $15,000 instead and telling the board they can come back to the council if they need more.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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