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BCTF awards grants to Frontier Village, Kite Fest

The Frontier Village Association will receive more than $54,000 from the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation for staffing and operational expenses.

The BCTF Executive Board approved three grant requests from the FVA. The first was for $40,558.17 for staffing expenses. The request is an almost 20 percent increase from last year’s staffing grant request of $33,546.

During the BCTF Grant Board meeting held prior to the Executive Board meeting, Charlie Tanata, FVA president, said the association wanted to increase the pay for the head maintenance position, from $12 an hour to $15 an hour, the assistant maintenance position from $10 an hour to $12 an hour, and the head greeter position from $9 an hour to $10 an hour.

Tanata said given the scarcity of workers for part-time summer jobs, the FVA wants to be able to keep its experienced workers by offering them better pay.

BCTF Treasurer Beth Dewald asked Tanata what will happen if the board doesn’t grant the full request.

Tanata said Frontier Village has some funds saved up from last year, and the FVA would have to make some decisions about wages and other operational expenses.

The Executive Board approved a motion by Scott Hare to grant Frontier Village $35,000 for staffing. He said that is a 3 percent raise, which is more realistic than the amount the FVA had requested.

BCTF Executive Director Searle Swedlund said the FVA is realistic about what it would get from the BCTF and is prepared to make decisions about its budget.

The two other FVA requests were for $11,700 the boarding, feeding and other care of horses used for the stagecoach rides offered during the summer, $7,500 for Pioneer Days and The World Fast Draw shooting event. Frontier Village Manager Colleen Conley said the FVA decided to combine the two events this year to attract a larger crowd.  The Executive Board approved both of those requests. With the three grants total, Frontier Village will receive $54,200 in total from the BCTF.

The Executive Board also approved a $2,000 grant request from the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department for the 20th annual Kite Festival. Doug Hogan, Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department director, said this year there will be some Friday night activities. The event will take place June 7-8 at Meidinger Park Field, at the corner of 17th Street and 17th Avenue Southwest. The Friday evening events would be held June 6.

Hogan said with so many professional kite flyers and precision kite flying clubs coming to the event, there isn’t always room for local people to get out and fly kites as well. The June 6 events would be the day when locals or anyone could come out and fly kites, plus get a chance to talk with the professional kite flyers.

Hogan said he plans on using the $2,000 from BCTF to advertise in newspapers around the state to help promote the event. Executive Board members said Hogan should also send out press releases as most newspapers will run a short item about community events from other parts of the state.

In other business, the Executive Board will be seeking members of the BCTF Board of Directors interested in replacing executive board member Marlyn Bertsch, who has stepped down for personal reasons.

The next meeting of the Executive and Grant boards is Feb. 21. The next meeting of the BCTF Board of Directors is Feb. 24.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454