Support the Glass Float Project
During a discussion about individuals and organizations seeking financial support from the Tourism Council, Director Jessica Willi, at the group’s meeting on Tuesday, March 4, said that Eben Horton, the creator of the glass float project, had requested $1,500 to help fund the creation of the glass orbs.
During the discussion, Willi said that Horton had also initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $6,000 for the project.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that allows total strangers to contribute to artistic or entrepreneurial projects they feel have some social or artistic value. Contributors often get perks depending on how much they donate. Once a specific goal is set which, in Horton’s case, is $6,000, that amount must be raised or the entire project is cancelled.
Horton wrote on his Kickstarter page: “The Glass Float Project promotes and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to explore Rhode Island’s unspoiled jewel, Block Island. The artist creates and hides one of a kind glass floats in the public, outdoor areas of the island, for people to discover and treasure for years to come. The project seeks to encourage people to get excited about exploring the great outdoors, and to work together to discover art, nature and themselves.”
The Glass Float project has “been a popular campaign during the last two years,” said Tourism Council member Brad Marthens.
“It’s a great, great project,” said Willi. “Islanders love it but they don’t necessarily contribute to it, so if you know someone, a friend, family, let them know.” Horton, according to his Kickstarter campaign page, has already raised more than two-thirds of his goal. The campaign deadline is 10:37 a.m. on Sunday, March 16.
Grants for Solar Energy
Willi announced that the state’s Renewable Energy Fund “has started a new program for grant and loan opportunities for renewable energy projects.” Loans up to 40 percent of the project’s cost are available to businesses, families and individuals for a specific project or a feasibility study.
“They’re very ready to give out money,” said Willi.
In other business, Willi announced that the hotel tax collected for December 2013 was “extremely high” — $13,000. Before she let members of the council get too excited, Willi said the figure was due to the fact that a business that had been in arrears for three years had paid up. (December hotel taxes are usually around $800.) That $13,000 should be spread out for each month of the last 36 months, said Willi.