Sumter County Commissioners Approve Multiple Tourism Grants

Sumter County Commissioners Approve Multiple Tourism Grants

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Sumter County Commissioners Approve Multiple Tourism Grants
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:48 AM
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Default Sumter County Commissioners Approve Multiple Tourism Grants

At a meeting on Tuesday, Sumter County commissioners reviewed requests for tourism grants brought by the Sumter County Tourism Council, and approved them for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. These grants will fund upcoming events at the squares, along with other activities that will benefit the county’s tourism sector.

With a $40,000 increase from last year, Lake Sumter and Brownwood Town Squares received $120,000 in grants to fund entertainment events. Spanish Springs Town Square is located in Lake County.

In addition to the squares receiving grants, The Villages Charter School was approved $60,000 to fund its annual Battle of The Villages basketball tournament, held by The Buffalo Scholarship Fund. The fifth annual tournament will take place this December at The Villages High School. The high school also received a $20,000 grant for the 65th annual Florida Athletic Coach Association’s All-Star Classic, and $15,000 for the 7v7 Association State Championship.

The Villages Homeowners Advocates are known for their fun-filled hoedowns, which consisted of gunslingers and local art this year. Next year’s event, which will take place in February, was just approved a $50,000 grant.

The other grants approved were $75,000 for the Blackjack Sporting Clays shooting state championship event scheduled for April 2020, and $50,000 for one of it’s Blackjack Open events. The Dade Battlefield Society will be given $10,000 for a re-enactment from the Second Seminole War. The re-enactment will take place this January at the Dade Battlefield Historic Park.

The Southern Draft Horse Association’s horse-pulling event which is held in February will receive $50,000 and will have 45 different teams participating. Another $1,000 will be given to the Hearts for Our Hospital Bicycle Challenge, a cycling race and expo sponsored by The Villages Regional Hospital Auxiliary.

Lastly, $20,000 was awarded to the commissioners themselves for Sumter County’s tourism website and mobile grant project. If you are interested in reading more into the recent grants awarded, you can find the agenda from Tuesday on Sumter County’s official website.

County Commissioners | Sumter County, FL - Official Website
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:21 PM
Jazuela Jazuela is offline
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I'm not familiar with the concept of re-enacting a war against Native Americans. Does it include re-enacting how Spain forced themselves on the Natives, shoved them aside, then when England decided to duke it out with Spain, England tricked the Natives into agreeing to be placed into camps (reservations)? And thought "oh they all look alike" and made the Seminoles live with the Creeks, who were adversaries at the time? And does it include how none of the Natives wanted to be pushed off the land they had known as home for generations before the undocumented immigrants (Spain and England) invaded their land and then killed them when the Natives told them to stop?

Also wouldn't it be more cost-efficient if Sumter County just gave $60,000 directly to the scholarship fund? Or does the school expect to make more than $120,000 for this tournament (the $60k given by the county, plus more than $60 to cover the cost of the "donation" and then top it)?
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:52 PM
Jazuela Jazuela is offline
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Originally Posted by Bjeanj View Post
Are you looking a gift horse in the mouth? Your comments sound a bit critical. Perhaps you should be in charge so only good decisions should be made.
I am being critical. It's called critical thinking. I do that.

I'm critical of anything that advertises the re-enactment of invading forces displacing and murdering residents, especially if the re-enactment is comprised primarily of people who are politically bent to vote against invading forces displacing and murdering residents

I'm also questioning the fiscal wisdom of gifting a large sum of money to a fundraising campaign that is not likely to raise the amount of money being granted. It'd be wiser, I think, to just grant that money directly to the fund.

Example: I can donate $60,000 to fund a huge carnival with vendors and clowns and facepainting for kids, that will cost $100,000 total, and ultimately bring $20,000 to help underprivileged kids go to college.

OR

I can donate $60,000 directly to underprivileged kids, cut out the middle-man completely, and not cost a single cent, let alone the $100,000 the carnival would have cost.

If I want to help the underprivileged kids, I know where my money will go. It'll go to the kids. Not to a carnival that will only bring in $20k after all the expenses are covered.

I'll add that I have no criticism of the $1000 to the Bike heart challenge, or the $20k for the tourism website and associated expenses, or the horse-pulling contest (though I think $50k is a bit much). Those are things that will definitely help attract people from all over the state and even from other states.

I just don't think $60,000 makes much sense to fund a basketball tournament, that is supposed to benefit a scholarship fund. I think a few thousand for the tournament, and the rest as a direct donation on behalf of the tourism department to the scholarship fund would be better use of that money.

Last edited by Jazuela; 07-25-2019 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:15 AM
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Perhaps all these grants are why they need a 25% tax increase? Maybe we should get some new people running the county. We do have a majority of the votes in Sumter county. Sumter county has had a windfall of tax revenue with a cost structure that doesn't match the revenue increase. Think schools. Most county budgets have a school budget that runs 50% of the total. Not many of us have school age children so one would think that there should never be a tax increase here. Compare Sumter county taxes with other Florida counties that do have school budgets.

What has happened here is our county elected officials have decided that they have all this money so lets spend it. oops, we need more. Time for new folks running this place that have fiscal responsibility.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by l2ridehd View Post
Perhaps all these grants are why they need a 25% tax increase? Maybe we should get some new people running the county. We do have a majority of the votes in Sumter county. Sumter county has had a windfall of tax revenue with a cost structure that doesn't match the revenue increase. Think schools. Most county budgets have a school budget that runs 50% of the total. Not many of us have school age children so one would think that there should never be a tax increase here. Compare Sumter county taxes with other Florida counties that do have school budgets.

What has happened here is our county elected officials have decided that they have all this money so lets spend it. oops, we need more. Time for new folks running this place that have fiscal responsibility.
Sumter County has enjoyed lower than average taxes for a long time. And now they need to catch up because they can't maintain the infrastructure with what they have.

I feel that education of our youth is one of THE most important things we can do with our tax money. Obviously the State of Florida thinks differently. But in my mind, it's one of those kids who will be running our country and deciding the fate of social security, medicare, senior services, immigration, taxes, employment, homeless services (you know, those people you don't want hanging out in the town squares), drug addiction, crime, etc.

We want kids with an actual education sorting all this stuff out on our behalf. How would it be if the only options we had for voting in 15 years were "dumb" or "dumber?"

The kids are not just the future, they are our future. If we want our future to look bleak, then sure fund a fundraiser that will bring in only a percentage of what you paid to fund it. If you want the future to look bright, fund the scholarships directly. Or better yet, fund the public schools so the teachers don't have to spend their own money buying notebooks and pencils for their students.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by l2ridehd View Post
Perhaps all these grants are why they need a 25% tax increase? Maybe we should get some new people running the county. We do have a majority of the votes in Sumter county. Sumter county has had a windfall of tax revenue with a cost structure that doesn't match the revenue increase. Think schools. Most county budgets have a school budget that runs 50% of the total. Not many of us have school age children so one would think that there should never be a tax increase here. Compare Sumter county taxes with other Florida counties that do have school budgets.

What has happened here is our county elected officials have decided that they have all this money so lets spend it. oops, we need more. Time for new folks running this place that have fiscal responsibility.
These grants have NOTHING to do with the taxes you pay. It's the tourism tax, and the money MUST be spent to attract tourists.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:12 AM
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You make a good point and I have wondered about this also. I believe 80% of the population of Sumter County is in The Villages. There have been approximately 2000 new homes built each year for the last decade and this translates into a steady increase in school funding without the addition of any new students (from The Villages).

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Originally Posted by l2ridehd View Post
Perhaps all these grants are why they need a 25% tax increase? Maybe we should get some new people running the county. We do have a majority of the votes in Sumter county. Sumter county has had a windfall of tax revenue with a cost structure that doesn't match the revenue increase. Think schools. Most county budgets have a school budget that runs 50% of the total. Not many of us have school age children so one would think that there should never be a tax increase here. Compare Sumter county taxes with other Florida counties that do have school budgets.

What has happened here is our county elected officials have decided that they have all this money so lets spend it. oops, we need more. Time for new folks running this place that have fiscal responsibility.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:18 AM
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What about all the non-villagers that are supporting our lifestyle. Added younger population that probably have kids and are having more.....gotta go to school somewhere.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:14 AM
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Isn't this thread borderline political and shouldn't be here
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:55 AM
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I very much believe in better schools and have always supported them. My point was that the percentage of the population that is school age in Sumter county is the lowest in the state because the percent of seniors is one of the top three. So by default we have a very low school cost per household. That translates into a very small percent of the total budget being spent for schools.
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