Compromise reached allowing Cherry Blossom Festival to keep funding, city officials say

Funding for Macon's Cherry Blossom Festival appears to be secure for now.

City officials said Thursday that a compromise had been reached with Mayor Robert Reichert's administration on Councilman Mike Cranford's proposal to reroute hotel/motel tax revenue away from the festival and send it instead to the Georgia Children's Museum and the Tubman African American Museum.

But rather than drawing down the festival's funding, Reichert will propose to the council an adjustment in this year's budget to provide $25,000 to each of the museums. The money will come from the city's unallocated reserve, which is largely composed of funds that have been set aside from unfilled staff positions.

Cranford's resolution had asked that the two museums each get 2 percent of hotel/motel tax revenue. Their funding stream would have been created by cutting the festival's share of the tax from 6 percent to 2 percent.