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BOMA gifts Dogwood group $10k, nixes $15k request

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen granted $10,000 to Dogwood Arts Festival at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 10.

Festival executive director Lisa Duncan requested $15,000.

Town staff recommended the Town donate $2,500, and in-kind services, such as for erecting signs and painting the dogwood trail.

“I feel we cannot give the $15,000 because of the economic downturn,” Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche told Duncan.

Alderman John Williams asked what the funds would be used for.

Duncan said $5,000 of the requested funds would give the Town a full-page ad in the festival guide, with a distribution of 150,000.

That ad could highlight 30th anniversary events, she said.

The rest of the funds would go to bus tours through Farragut from Market Square, to promote Farragut camera sites, the Farragut Folklife Museum and Farragut residents and students.

“You gave $10,000 last year. We’re proposing an extra $5,000 for the full page ad in our festival guide,” Duncan said.

“With your 30th anniversary, you’ve got a lot of activities you may want to promote,” she added.

Town staff said the yearly $10,000 donation to Dogwood Arts Festival began as funding for the Farragut festival, which was planned by a local committee during DAF.

Dogwood Arts has since disbanded the Farragut festival, but former Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III requested DAF still receive funds.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Duncan how much Knox County and the City of Knoxville contributed to the Dogwood Arts Festival.

“The City of Knoxville contributes in-kind services … Knox County eliminated its community grant program, but they’re providing resources, staff,” Duncan said adding neither gave a monetary donation this year.

“They support us significantly, not always in cash,” Duncan said.

Williams asked if Duncan would consider giving Farragut the full-page ad if the Town covered the production costs of the guide, which was less than the cost of the ad.

“I would entertain that,” Duncan said.

Elliott said he didn’t see the benefits of a $10,000 donation without getting the ad in the Festival guide.

“It concerns me that for $10,000, we’re not getting any advertising. We’re getting buses that don’t stop and people who won’t spend money in this Town,” Elliott said.

“It seems like a lot of money in a time when we’re watching our dollars,” he added.

He moved that the Town donate $2,000 to the festival and $5,000 for the ad. His motion died for lack of a second.

LaMarche made a substitute motion that the Board fund $10,000. Williams seconded, and later asked the Town’s 30th Anniversary Committee to consider advertising in the festival guide.

The cost of the ad, $5,000, would be the Anniversary Committee’s entire budget.

That motion was approved with Elliott dissenting.


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