Salute to America asks county to contribute $10,000

The Salute to America Committee wants the Cole County Commission to double its contribution to the annual event.

At the commission meeting Monday, committee chair Kathy Crow made the request that the commission increase its contribution from $5,000 to $10,000, which would match the annual contribution from Jefferson City.

Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger asked if Crow, or other committee members, would reach out to local businesses and see if they would want to take part. Crow said the committee typically has not gone to businesses to seek their involvement, but applications for

vendors are available to anyone at the event’s website.

“I don’t think we’ve ever turned anyone down,” Crow said.

Ellinger said he often sees food vendors from outside the area set up at the annual Fourth of July event and believes it would be better for the overall community if those spots were given to local businesses, assuming they would want them.

“The money stays in the community,” Ellinger said of local vendors.

He said if Crow would commit to reaching out to local businesses to encourage participation, he would not oppose increasing the event’s funding. Crow said she had no problem promising to reach out to local businesses in exchange for the added funds.

“We’re all about the community,” Crow said.

Ellinger also mentioned giving local businesses a discount on the price to participate, though he did not specify that would be part of the condition for increased funding.

According to the Salute to America website, food vendors are charged anywhere from $325 to $575 to participate in the event.

The commission will make a decision on the level of funding when the committee returns with a contract that’s ready to sign.

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