CATEGORY: Alcorn County
Tourism Promotion Council hands out $65,000 in grants
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – Announcement of $65,000 in grants to help develop and promote local tourism came at an appropriate time Friday during National Tourism Week.
Tom West, chairman of the Alliance Tourism Promotion Council, said applications for projects totaling over $110,000 were reviewed by the council. Not all of the projects were funded and no one received as much as requested, he said. The council expects to have more funds to give out next year as promotion efforts pay off and tourism grows, West said.
The money to fund the projects comes from a 2 percent tourism tax on lodgings, prepared foods and beverages that went into effect Oct. 1. Proceeds of the tax are matching expectations of an annual revenue of $420,000, West said.
Half of those funds must be reserved for planning, construction and operation of a multipurpose facility. The other half is used by the council to develop and promote tourism.
“We intend to get this money working in the community,” West said. “We don’t intend to carry a surplus. We want to put it to work.”
The Siege & Battle of Corinth Commission received the largest grant for restoration work on the Curlee House. The $21,500 grant will require a 40 percent match for expenditures, including repairs on the roof, columns and floors of the antebellum home used by both Union and Confederate generals during the Civil War. The National Historic Landmark will serve as the temporary headquarters for the Siege & Battle of Corinth Commission which plans to staff the facility seven days a week as a tourist attraction.
Corinth Theatre-Arts was awarded a $14,000 grant to replace existing central heat and air units. The Corinth Depot will receive a matching grant of $9,000 to repair and paint the exterior of the facility. The Corinth Area Arts Council will receive up to $7,500 for further restoration work on the Coliseum Civic Center. The grant must be matched.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter No. 333 will receive up to $4,000 matching money to purchase and erect a cannon at its original site at Fort Robinett.
Sons of the Confederacy will receive a matching grant of up to $1,000 to erect a flag pole at Fort Robinett to fly the American, Mississippi and Confederate flags.
A grant of $1,000 was approved for the Northeast Mississippi Museum Association for emergency expenses.
The Alliance will receive up to $2,000 in matching grant funds to provide the community with a covered stage to be used by all community groups and organizations during festivals and other special events.
Special events included in the council’s grant program include: Possum Town Reenactors, $2,500 to promote their upcoming reenactment of the Battle of Corinth; The Corinth Symphony League, $1,500; Jacinto Courthouse, $1,000. The $5,000 was reallocated from other tourism council budget funds, West said.