Members of the Grove Convention and Tourism Board awarded $6,500 in grant applications on Thursday, Jan. 25, during a regular meeting.

Board member Hitesh Patel and Amelia Chamberlain were not present for the meeting.

After some discussion on grant amounts awarded in the previous year the board approved to award the American Heritage Music Festival, $1,500; Cajun Festival, $1,500; Jana Jae's Fiddle Camp, $1,500; and Grand Lake of the Cherokees (GLOC) Shootout, $2,000.

City Manager Bill Keefer also informed the board the revenue from the lodging tax was up by more than 50 percent from the previous month.

“The distribution is considerable higher,” Keefer said.

The tax, $12,832.84, was collected in January for receipts collected in November.

For the same time period in 2015-16 the revenue collected was $6,636.41 and from 2016-17 the revenue collected was $8,531.47.

The increase is believed to be a double payment from one of the lodging establishments, Keefer said.

“We are on track to be a little bit more,” Keefer said referring to the conclusion of the fiscal year in June.

The total tax collected to date is $80,530.23, city records show.

In other business, the board approved sponsorship agreement request from Sheldon Collings.

During December’s meeting the board approved a $10,000 amount from marketing funds.

Chairman Jim Corbridge said $5,000 has already been paid up front for wrapping Collings’ truck and boat and the balance would be paid when Collings signs the agreement. 

Collings was participating in a Florida tournament and was providing the city updates, Keefer said.

All the board agreed Collings was representing the community in a positive light.

Corbridge also announced that he had read a national article about Collings and the article “benefited the town.”

“It was a nice article,” Corbridge said.

Also approved was a partnership agreement with Monkey Island RV Park and Cabins.

“They have 22 cabins close to Tera Miranda (Shores),” said Brent Malone, executive director.

Also approved was a license agreement with Grove Chamber of Commerce for use of the city’s logo on the chamber’s logo.

Grove Area Chamber of Commerce president Donnie Crain explained this agreement is between the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Tourism Board, but would have to have approval by the city council. 

The board also saw a power point presentation on “Toes in the Grand” a summer festival set for June 1 and 2 at Wolf Creek Park.

In financial reports expenses were $1,719.91 for salaries, $1,108 for marketing and grants, $1,900 for contract services and $35 for miscellaneous, according to city documents.