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Crystal Lake grants additional hotel tax money, Tour de Crystal Lake a benefactor

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 9:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 11:40 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake City Council granted $21,000 in hotel/motel funds to three community organizations Tuesday, supplementing the $292,000 it already committed to the city’s nonprofits for fiscal 2014-15.

The Williams Street Repertory Theatre Company, McHenry County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Lakeside Legacy Foundation all received part of the $21,000 with the latter two adding to the combined $39,400 they were granted by the city in initial funding.

Of the $21,000, $10,000 was given to the visitors bureau, potentially saving Tour de Crystal Lake which was denied a $20,000 grant a month ago.

Mayor Aaron Shepley had supported the larger request from Tour de Crystal Lake organizers last month, but other council members were concerned about the group’s for-profit status and committing that much money.

To solve the issue, the city gave the money to the nonprofit visitor’s bureau, which will in turn use the money to support the race. The request also was reduced to $10,000, giving the city more flexibility to fulfill the $10,000 request from the legacy foundation and $1,000 request from the theater company.

“The purpose of the hotel tax is to draw tourism to Crystal Lake,” Shepley said. “There is nothing that we support with our hotel/motel tax dollars that does not indirectly support for-profit organizations.”

The city is projected to bring in $290,000 in the hotel/motel fund during fiscal 2014-15 and has already committed $313,000 in expenditures. The fund’s reserve is expected to be at $80,474 at the end of fiscal 2014-15.

Marco Colbert, executive director for Prairie State Cycling Series, said the rest of the $18,000 needed for the event would be generated through sponsorships. Between 1,000 and 2,000 people are expected to attend the second annual event that features international professional cyclists racing for the Intelligentsia Cup.

The race is scheduled for July 20.

Lakeside Legacy Foundation received $10,000 for its Winter Festival while the $1,000 grant to the Williams Street Repertory Theatre Company was more of a gesture to allow the group to receive more grant opportunities from other sources.

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