HONESDALE – The Wayne County Commissioners have approved the recipients of the 2015 Tourism Grant Awards.

The Wayne County Tourism Grant Program is established through the Hotel Excise Tax ordinance originally enacted in 2005 and allows non-profit organizations to apply for tourism promotion funds to help promote their event and/or their attraction for out of town visitors.

Applications are reviewed by the Wayne County Tourism and Promotion Committee.

Chief Clerk Vicky Botjer said the committee received requests totaling $45,000 from various organizations. This year, the program is focused on partnership and joint marketing.

“We encouraged organizations to work together to get the maximum amount of money and to get the maximum exposure,” she said. “This can include having events at the same time.”

The applicants are also encouraged to partner with other organizations to “enhance the visitor’s experience and maximize their potential for overnight stays.”

A maximum of $2,000 is awarded to individual organizations that apply, but additional funding could be awarded when they partner with other organizations.

The Wayne County Tourism and Promotion Committee has a budget of $25,000. Botjer said they stayed really close to budget with the allocations.

Total funds allocated were $25,400.

Botjer said they monitor the funds.

“The organizations get half of the money up front and then they provide a report saying the money was used properly,” she said. “Then they get the rest.”

The following are the recipients of the 2015 Tourism Grant Awards:

• Wayne County Historical Society-$400 for Ads and 2015 Exhibits promotion

• Chamber of the Northern Poconos-$3,500 for Rack Card of outdoor/recreation events for 2015

• The Cooperage-$2,000 for Tabletop Day and Holiday Artisans Events

• Friends of Prompton State Park-$2,000 for Peddle & Paddle/Century Bike Ride Events

• Wayne County 5K Challenge-$1,000 for Marketing of race series

• Greater Honesdale Partnership/Downtown Hawley Partnership-$2,000 for joint marketing of fall and winter events

• Penny House 5K-$1,600 for Billboard for race and Lake Ariel Fire Co. Events

• Equinunk Historical Society-$450 Annual Event Flyer

• Waystock – Parties in the Park-$950 for August Music Festival Marketing

• Lacawac Sanctuary-$2,000 for Events/Rack Cards/Brochure

• Rails-Trail Council of NEPA-$2,000 for Marketing Video

• Wally Lake Fest-$2,000 for August Event Promotion

• Wayne County Arts Alliance/Honesdale Women’s Club-$4,000 for Arts and Antiques Weekend

• Creative Arts Council-$1,500 for Summer Concerts in the Park

The commissioners have also approved marketing assistance/sponsorships for the following:

• Roots & Rhythm Music and Arts Festival-$2,500

• Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District (LWWMD)-$3,000 for the Cast for Cash program

• Route 6 Alliance-$1,080 to replace “Do 6” signage in Wayne County

“We're very excited about the partnership between the arts alliance and the women's club,” Botjer said. “The chamber is also working with the region on events.

“It's going to be an exciting year. There are a lot of great ideas.”

The Wayne County Tourism Grant Program has existed since 2006. It has been offered annually to help promote events in the county.

For every visitor that stays over at one of the lodging facilities in the county, a hotel excise tax gets collected, with a portion returning to the fund.

Commissioner Wendell Kay said the committee works very hard.

“The process of the amounts allocated is very detailed,” he said.

Other business

• Several Deputy Tax Collectors were approved. They include Aimee Pearson for Oregon Township, Mary Roloson for Manchester Township, Stephanie Roegner for Lebanon Township, Jason Donofry of Dyberry Township and Melissa Haviland of Buckingham Township.

• Bernadette Musgrove was promoted from a caseworker I to a caseworker II for Children & Youth Services (CYS), effective March 2. The salary was set at $32,866.43 for 37.5 hours a week.

• Charlotte Myers was promoted from a part time to full time drug and alcohol prevention specialist, effective March 2. The salary was set at $51,032.03 for 37.5 hours a week.

• Ryan Williams was hired as a director of inmate services for the Wayne County Correctional Facility, effective March 2. He was a part time corrections officer and is filling a vacancy.

The position will be for 37.5 hours a week. The salary was tabled to the March 5 meeting.