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Bible, Edward / Planning report: annual overall economic development program report
no. 113

Chapter II: assessment of economic development efforts of the past year,   pp. [unnumbered]-16 PDF (5.4 MB)


Page 16

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"Point of Beginnings" Heritage Tourism Program:
A major effort of the past year has been the incorporation of the once in-house Heritage
Tourism program. An independent private not-for-profit corporation, with considerable
assistance from the regional planning commission, has applied for and obtained 501(c)(3) tax
exempt status as an organization working for educational purposes. The counties of Grant, Iowa
and Lafayette have continued to provide financial support to this effort, as have most
communities in the three-county area.  Virtually all of the cities and villages that were
specifically requested for a contribution, gave one. Only two communities of the many that can
particularly benefit from the program decided not to contribute.
A membership subscription effort has been formulated, and other efforts to get
contributions are underway. The Commission formerly administered a grant of $40,000 from the
Wisconsin Dept. of Development, Division of Tourism (now Department of Tourism) which was
matched more than dollar for dollar by local funds to provide a part-time heritage tourism
coordinator and funds to work with in developing marketing materials. A "Calendar of Events"
was disseminated in 1995, and a "Surveyor's Guide" to over sixty attractions in thirty
communities continues to be widely distributed. Also, a "Sleep and Eat Guide" has been revised
and has undergone its second printing. The organization has a 1996 budget of more than
$20,000.
The Point of Beginnings program has been showcased at various conferences and
meetings in 1996, including the Governor's Conference on Tourism, the state-wide Heritage
Tourism Conference (to be hosted by the Point of Beginnings) and a Southwest Wisconsin
Library Conference, co-sponsored by the organization. The four themes of Picks, Politic, Pulpits  I
and Plows depict the important governmental, mining, religious, and agricultural beginnings in
Wisconsin. The Commission continues to be very supportive of this effort.
COMPLETE AN ANNUAL UPDATE OF THE DISTRICT OVERALL ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Commission prepared an annual report of the O.E.D.P. and submitted it to EDA by
the end of June 1995. The report provided additional Economic Census data that had been
released. This document is provided to cover the 1996-97 time period.
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