Summit County Commission doles out RAP tax grants |

Summit County Commission doles out RAP tax grants

A day after the Summit County Commission required taxpayers help fund the broadcast of a climate-change symposium on KPCW, the radio station’s general manager was on the air asking citizens to contribute more cash to the program.

KPCW’s pledge drive happened Thursday in the wake of the radio station being named to receive $25,313 from Summit County’s sales-tax coffers, marking the third time KPCW will receive Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax funding.

Because the public monies are earmarked for non-profit groups that provide cultural opportunities, taxpayers in the area should fund a portion of the radio station’s budget, KPCW general manager Blair Feulner has claimed in past interviews.

But his original RAP Tax request for nearly $50,000 this year was pared down before 20 RAP Tax grants were approved Wednesday by the County Commission.

"KPCW will use the requested funds to support programming and production of Cada Domingo, a Sunday Spanish language program, All things Considered, a weekday drive time program and a town meeting program on climate change," states a written recommendation from the county’s RAP Tax Cultural Advisory Committee, which doled out about $633,000 this year.

Committee members have insisted RAP Tax money KPCW receives cannot be used to pay Feulner’s reported six-figure salary.

In 2005, KPCW received a $45,350 grant and the station was awarded $36,750 two years ago.

When a newspaper revealed last year that Feulner and his wife Susan had in one year cleared $265,000 in combined salary, some non-profit organizers began questioning whether such a seemingly well-funded organization should receive the public money.

KPCW is provided space for offices and studios at City Hall in exchange for allowing Park City Municipal some in-kind access to the airwaves.

Meanwhile, the largest RAP cultural grant approved in 2006 was for $74,063 for the Park City Performing Arts Foundation.

Other grants that exceeded $50,000 included $61,188 to cover expenses and the costs for youth programs at the Egyptian Theatre Company in Park City.

The Park City Historical Society and Museum received $58,250 to help fund new exhibits and for educational outreach.

Improving community outreach is also the goal of the Sundance Institute, which received a $53,125 grant.

But meeting the RAP Tax’s goal of providing more cultural opportunities for Summit County citizens means "the number of film viewing options for locals during the (Sundance) Film Festival" should increase, the committee claimed.

"By the time the checks go out this year the county would have given a little over $2.5 million out to organizations that are either in Summit County or who perform in Summit County, and that has got to have been an enormous boost to those organizations," said Tom Fey, who chairs the cultural advisory committee.

Each year, the committee grants 55 percent of RAP Tax revenue to cultural organizations, while the remaining money generated by the one-tenth of one percent countywide sales-tax initiative, is earmarked for public recreation facilities.

Other cultural RAP Tax grants awarded by the commission in 2006 include:

$29,125 for Arts-Kids to provide after-school education programs

$2,313 was awarded to the Echo Community and Historical Organization to maintain historic structures in North Summit

Kimball Art Center will receive $47,188 to fund community outreach programs

$48,063 was granted to Mountain Town Stages to promote music and purchase portable sound equipment

Norwegian Outdoor Exploration Center was granted $34,813 to help children in Summit County attend programs

Park City/Summit County Arts Council received $32,625 for overhead and to improve its Web site

Park City Chamber Music Society was granted $13,000 for promoting performances in Summit County

$20,688 for the Park City Film Series could provide more free screenings

Park City Jazz Foundation received a $35,750 grant to support salaries and its festival at Deer Valley

Park City Jazz Foundation/Egyptian Theatre Company received $5,625 to promote a jazz performance in Park City in February

A $2,375 grant could help the Summit County Historical Society publish educational material

Swaner Nature Preserve received $33,438 for programming

A $3,063 grant will help support performances for the Park City Singers

The Utah Symphony and Opera received $30,125 for performances at Deer Valley

$22,875 for the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation will fund student outreach at the Utah Olympic Park

Fey says the committee denied a request from the North Summit School District for new stage curtains because public schools don’t qualify for the funding.

A request from writer Todd Mather to publish a book about Park City architecture was denied because the project "has too limited an outreach," according to committee members, who added that a request from the Utah Music Festival was disqualified because the organization was deemed a "private foundation."

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