City Council Approves Tourism Development Fund (TDF) Grants
At its November 14, 2019 meeting, Williamsburg City Council approved seven recommendations for Tourism Development Fund grants. This is the first year of TDF grant funding.
The following grants were approved unanimously:
- $750,000 grant in FY20 to be used by the City to improve downtown parking lots if a management and lease agreement is executed between the City and Colonial Williamsburg by June 30, 2020. The lots affected are P2, P4 and P5. The funds designated for this project will remain in the TDF until the project commences. If a management and lease agreement is not executed by June 30, 2020, the funds will be released from this designation and carry forward to the next cycle of the TDF grants (see photo/map below).
- $350,000 grant to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in FY20 for the renovation of the Henry Street restrooms to be paid as a reimbursement after the work is completed. The restrooms must remain open to the general public, and the renovations must be completed by December 31, 2021. This project must work in coordination with the parking lot improvements and there shall be no reduction in the number of fixtures located in the facility.
- $529,153 grant to the City's Parks & Recreation Department in FY20 and a planned reserve of $670,847 for FY21 to total $1,200,000 to complete the fourth lighted field at Kiwanis Park.
- $250,000 grant to the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority to facilitate the design and installation of a comprehensive wayfinding signage system. City staff will manage the project.
- $10,000 grant to the Williamsburg Regional Library to purchase additional furniture for the City Square Plaza.
- $100,000 grant to the City's Parks & Recreation Department to purchase a portable stage available for use in the City.
- $250,000 grant in FY20 for further study and design of an Indoor Sports Complex and planned reserves of $250,000 in FY21 for building design, $800,000 in FY22 to pay the TDF share of debt service during construction, and $1,150,000 in FY23 and FY24 to pay the TDF share of the debt service after construction.
This completes the FY20 grant cycle for the Tourism Development Fund. The Tourism Development Grant Review Committee will reconvene in early 2020 to begin the next cycle.
City Council adopted its Tourism Development Fund policy on August 10, 2017, revised it on February 14, 2019 to recognize the creation of the Williamsburg Tourism Council and its mission to market the area for tourism, and appointed members of the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee in January 2019. The purpose of the fund is to increase patronage to restaurants, hotels, and events in the City of Williamsburg through financial assistance and reinvestments in tourism products, place-making projects, special events, and public-private partnerships. The TDF is funded through the half of the 1% sales tax increase that is collected in the city, as set by Senate Bill 942 (2018). The other half of the 1% sales tax is allocated to the Williamsburg Tourism Council to market the Williamsburg region to visitors.