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March 31, 2007

Tour de Georgia future on line as state senate axes funding

ajc.com | LEGISLATURE 2007: Bike race needs $1 million: Tour, having lost Ford as sponsor, seeks taxpayers' help

The Tour de Georgia's future may be in doubt, as the Georgia state senate removed $1 million in supplemental funding from the midyear budget bill on Wednesday.

The House version of the bill included the funding, along with a number of other programs sponsors of the senate bill are calling “pork.”

Chris Aronhalt of Medalist Sports promised that this year's race will run as scheduled, with every vendor being paid.

Whether it returns for a sixth time in 2008 is another question. "It's almost needed for this event to continue," he said of the one-time appropriation from the state. If the $1 million is not approved, he said, it would be "one heck of a serious challenge for Medalist to overcome."

The state is already the largest sponsor of the race, through its Department of Economic Development, which is contributing $400,000 to promote tourism.

I'll be following further developments on this story at my Tour de Georgia weblog.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 31, 2007 in Top Stories, Tour de Georgia | Permalink

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