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RAP Tax grants awarded

Patrick Parkinson Of the Record staff

After closely scrutinizing three of the applications, the Summit County Commission awarded grants Wednesday to 20 non-profit organizations doing business in Summit County.

Roughly $640,000 worth of Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP) Tax was given to groups that provide cultural opportunities in the area. Forty-five percent of each year’s RAP revenues fund public recreation amenities in the county. Those grants are awarded through a separate process. After meeting with each year’s applicants, a committee appointed by the commission recommends how a portion of countywide sales tax should be spent.

Last year, KPCW, a non-profit radio station in Park City, qualified for the first time to receive RAP Tax and got $36,750. However, the station’s request this year coincided with news reports that Park City residents Blair and Susan Feulner have recently received six-figure salaries operating the Park City station and its sister, KCPW in Salt Lake.

This year, KPCW received a $45,350 RAP Tax grant, but the committee made its recommendations before news of the Feulners’ salaries broke, said Tom Fey, chair of the RAP Tax Cultural Advisory Committee.

He stressed that funding from taxpayers cannot be used for managers’ paychecks.

However, Fey this week said that a portion of the grant would be spent improving host Randy Barton’s afternoon show.

Fey says the station also plans to use RAP Tax funding to improve Spanish programming and the station’s Web site. A new program funded by RAP would highlight different organizations in the community and the volunteers who staff them, Fey added.

"They provide a great service to our community," Richer said about the radio station.

Feulner insisted during a recent interview with The Park Record that funding from the county would not soften his coverage of county government.

"Absolutely not," he said.

Fey’s RAP advisory committee called a special meeting last week to discuss KPCW’s request and applications from the Utah Music Festival and Park City Literary Festival.

Utah Music Festival representatives "refused" to meet with the committee and don’t qualify to receive public support, Fey said, adding that the organization’s request for $37,550 was denied.

"[The] application was incomplete and unfortunately the organization doesn’t comply," he told the Summit County Commission Wednesday.

Along with a $4,125 RAP Tax grant, in a separate motion opposed by Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme the organization was also provided $2,000 from commissioners’ discretionary funds.

"I have no qualms with the literary club," Woolstenhulme said, following the vote. "I just think it sets a precedent."

The Summit County Commission voted unanimously for the following RAP Tax recipients: Alf Engen Ski Museum — $17,900 Arts-Kids — $31,000 Echo Community and Historical Organization — $4,500 Kimball Art Center — $47,225 Mountain Town Stages — $49,900 Norwegian Outdoor Exploration Center — $25,000 Park City Film Series — $17,150 Park City Historical Society and Museum — $80,000 Park City Jazz Foundation — $38,000 The Egyptian Theatre — $62,200 Park City Performing Arts Foundation — $70,000 Park City Singers — $3,000 Park City/Summit County Arts Council — $33,800 Summit County Historical Society — $7,000 Sundance Institute — $59,000 Swaner Memorial Park Foundation — $10,650 The Park City Chamber Music Society — $10,400 Utah Symphony and Opera — $23,800


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