Basalt chamber gets grant, with strings |

Basalt chamber gets grant, with strings

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

The Basalt Chamber of Commerce will get a $50,000 grant from the town government for 2014, but the public funds come with a couple of strings attached.

The town’s contribution is a challenge grant that will require the chamber to produce $12,500 of funds it wouldn’t otherwise receive. “This is a challenge grant that seeks to increase the overall funding of the Chamber and simultaneously work on town-wide goals,” said a town resolution that authorizes the grant.

The second caveat ties future grants for the Chamber of Commerce to its performance with the $50,000 this year. Chamber officials had to identify three areas where they will apply the funds this year. Those goals are to conduct research that produces demographic data for the Basalt market enhance year-round marketing efforts to promote buying local, and work on a transportation plan that ties Willits Town Center to downtown.

Town Manager Mike Scanlon said the town’s intent is to make a commitment to the Chamber of Commerce for funding for three years. However, the chamber must achieve performance objectives to continue receiving the public funds, he said.

Cole Sjoholm, the chairman of Basalt Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, said the organization welcomes the chance to become a partner with the town government on community-wide issues. Tying future grants to performance with the public grant this year is also a welcome challenge, he said.

The town government will require the chamber to present Scanlon with details on how to achieve its three goals before the $50,000 is awarded. In the future, the chamber board’s executive committee must provide a written report and make a presentation to the Town Council by Feb. 15 each year on progress in reaching its goals.