The White Pine Tourism and Recreation Board held their annual meeting to distribute grant monies to local organizations in need inside the Bristlecone Convention Center last Thursday. After reading and hearing presentations by different non-profit organizations, it was up to the five board members to distribute over $50,000 to help fund different repairs or new projects that will in turn lead to increased tourism.

The biggest piece of the grant money pie was awarded to adding curb and gutters to the City of Ely’s Jack Caylor Park, located next to the Railroad Depot.

“That’s really a good one,” Tourism and Convention Center Director Ed Spear said regarding the Caylor Park project.

“That park is going to be exceptionally nice when it is done and since it is so close to the railroad I think it will be a focal point for visitors and I’m really happy to see that get a good start.”

The board awarded the Jack Caylor Park $18,375 dollars of their alloted $56,000 budget. According to Spear, the curb and gutters are part of a larger collaboration with Pennington and the City of Ely. Once the curbs are installed, the Pennington grant, upon approval, will come in and “do all the sidewalks and fencing.” From there the City of Ely plans on taking care of the landscaping, according to Spear.

Other projects that received funding were the White Pine Public Museum for $9,572; White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation for $5,860, Ely Renaissance Society for $4,160; White Pine Chamber of Commerce for $1,571; and White Pine Horse Races for $1,510. In addition to these funds, which were part of the Capitol Fund, the board divided up another $14,951 among the Ely Renaissance Soceity, White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation and White Pine County Advisory Board as part of the Tourism and Recreation Facilities Fund. Part of that money, $7,200, went towards redoing the upholstery on the leather seats inside one of the coach cars on the historic trains at the railroad.

Board member Lorraince Clark said that projects like this are constructive because of the national presence the railroad has acquired through television shows and helps preserve the historical assets of one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.