The Jamestown Tourism Grant and Executive Board on Thursday approved $11,000 to support drag racing and Fort Seward events this summer.
The board 4-0 approved $9,900 to Jamestown Drag Racing Association for its annual two-day race at Jamestown Regional Airport. Member Taylor Barnes was not present. Of the amount approved, $6,000 is for advertising in the U.S. and Canada and $3,900 is for JDRA to purchase three sections of portable bleachers.
This year’s drag race event will be July 13-14, said Mike Trautman, president of the JDRA. Around 1,200 drivers and fans are expected to bring a $187,500 economic impact to Jamestown, he said.
Trautman said the bleachers could be used for races elsewhere should the Federal Aviation Administration decide against future races at Jamestown Regional Airport. The bleachers will also be used at the permanent race track planned for Jamestown in three to five years, he said.
“I believe strongly in the leadership and future of this event,” said Searle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism. “As these volunteers work to raise dollars for their track, Tourism should align our support with the future equipment needs.”
The Grant and Executive Board awarded $1,100 in support of the annual Big Guns of the Old West event on Sept. 7 at Fort Seward Reconstruction. The first $620 is the fee to have Charles Keller of the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment return to demonstrate a Gatling gun, and the remaining $480 is for advertising and promotion.
The turnout in 2018 was much higher than in recent years, said Dale Marks, executive director of Fort Seward Reconstruction. Jenny Marks, the Fort Seward interpreter, used social media and created activities for families and children to attract a wider crowd of people, he said.
In other business, Swedlund presented revised score sheet forms to be used by board members when considering grant funds for organizations. He said the forms are to ensure questions are asked that are needed for a good decision-making process, such as the financial overview and the sustainability of a project and the organization’s ability to carry it out.
The score sheet is not a formula basis to give priority or to qualify, he said.