Last week I ventured into the Downtown Branson Main Street Association (DBMA) a psuedo-political government entity that was well funded through co-op programs until a move last week by the state stripping funds from both the DBMA and the Branson Veteran's Taskforce.
According to White River Valley Historical Society (WRVHS) Tax Lobbyist Donna Clevenger :
Taney and Stone county commissioners have until Nov. 1 to appoint a
destination marketing organization to administer tourism dollars if
they want the matching tourism funds from the state.
The change in the co-op program of the Missouri Division of Tourism
requires that the three organizations currently receiving state
tourism money cease operations and that those entities will no longer
be able to receive the matching reimbursement funds from the program.
According to the executive director of the Missouri Division of
Tourism, Blaine Leutkemeyer, the change will better use marketing
dollars from the state and eliminate the overlap of multiple groups
marketing spending money to market to the same advertising areas.
The total state funds available for the co-op program is $3,450,000
for the fiscal year of 2008.
The following year will have $3.8 million. Luetkemeyer said his office
is committed to help grow the program and he wanted to clarify at the
meeting that the program is not a grant. Whichever organization is
appointed by the county commissioners will use tax dollars generated
in Taney County, spend those dollars on promotions and advertisement,
then send documentation to the MDT for a 50 percent reimbursement.
Citizen reports confirm Ozark Mountain Newspaper Political Pundit and News Correspondent Gary Groman aka Ole Seagull attended the meeting. According to Clevenger the Branson Chamber of Commerce is the only entity that qualifies.
Can someone tell me what happened here?