Niagara Gazette


June 26, 2006

Paperwork failure could snag city money

Tourism Advisory Board is hoping to tap into state grants for Jazz fest event

A paperwork glitch could prevent Niagara Falls from receiving $8,000 from the state that city officials were hoping to tap into to pay for a summer jazz festival.

The city’s failure to return receipts and other paperwork for four grants it received through state lawmakers could bar it from receiving similar grant money that has been set aside, but not spent.

Kevin Orsmby, the city’s tourism manager, told the Tourism Advisory Board on Monday that he is working to show the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation how the previous grants were spent.

Once that paperwork is in, city officials believe they could access $8,000 in grant money for the city that was set aside but never spent.

Orsmby, who was hired by the city last year, said he learned of the city’s failure to fulfill the paperwork require about three weeks ago.

Kevin Cottrell, a member of the tourism advisory board who works for the state parks as an assistant regional grants administrator, helped the city identify the three unspent grants.

The grants are allocated by members of the state Legislature for local festivals and other projects.

Bill Bradberry, chairman of the tourism board’s cultural heritage and entertainment committee, is hoping to use the state grants to pay two organizers to help attract musicians to a jazz festival the board is planning for September.

The festival, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 16, would feature musicians that once played at the renowned Ontario House.

While word of the festival has grown, the city has not yet allocated any money for the event.

“So many musicians who cut their teeth at the Ontario House are now all over the world,” Bradberry said. “The word is spreading.”

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