Riverside community groups seeking grants from hotel-motel taxes through the city won’t be getting their requests fully met in 2021.

City Administrator Christine Yancey says the city has less money to distribute following a tough 2020, “Because of COVID last year, our funds available for the hotel-motel tax are down and so we had to make some tough decisions and lowering the askings from some of the grants. And it was not met very favorably obviously with some of the people, but it’s just some steps the city had to make that we’re making sure we make the most efficient use of the dollars that we get.”

Yancey says they received grant requests totalling about $51,000 and the city council awarded about $45,000 Monday night to four groups including $17,500 to Riverside Area Community Club for Trekfest 2021 and $19,000 for the Riverside History Center Museum. The city has dispensed almost $73,000 in hotel-motel tax funds in fiscal year 2021 which also includes money for residential community beautification and downtown incentive grants. In past years, Yancey says they’ve also set aside $100,000 for the building of a new community center. She adds the deadline for grant applications this fiscal year was extended to March 1st due to the pandemic, but for fiscal year 22 it will go back to January.