Funding requests for the promotion of visitation and tourism and stimulation of the local economy were addressed during the October 6 Kingman City Council meeting. Jim Hinckley, accomplished author and Route 66 expert, had asked for $14,000 to fund various trips where he would be promoting the historic highway in hope of bringing more people to Kingman and northwest Arizona.
Hinckley explained that a $3,000 pledge from the Powerhouse and an additional $800 in donations from local businesses have essentially covered his anticipated cost of travel to Illinois. He is still seeking the balance of his funding request for other trips, including excursions to Los Angeles and the first European Route 66 festival in Germany next year.
“I’ve been asked by the organizers to put together a Route 66 information center video, some brochures and materials and make presentations there about tourism, specifically in northwest Arizona,” Hinckley said. His target audience was receptive.
“If you want to market and you want to market where you can see some results you need to have somebody that knows what they’re doing,” said mayor Richard Anderson. “I definitely believe that Mr. Hinckley is a tremendous asset and that we need to partner with him.”
There was extensive council discussion regarding from where the Hinckley funds should be provided, including the city and the Powerhouse. Also, the logistics of whether it is necessary to contract with Hinckley to avoid violation of the so-called “gift clause” prohibition.
“What Mr. Hinckley does for this community is important,” said council member Mark Abram. “I believe we need to fund these trips, but I would like to defer this until we get more in-depth counsel to determine what is correct and legal. We don’t want to jeopardize either the council or Mr. Hinckley.”
The matter was referred to the city attorney’s office for review and recommendation.
Following another presentation and brief discussion, the Council agreed to meet a $4,000 funding request in support of the effort to expand and evolve the fledgling “Rattler 66” mountain bike race into a professional event.