Alpenfest and Wallowa County Business Facilitation were the only two local causes to come away with state video lottery funding in the latest round of such outlays approved by the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners.

The Wallowa County BOC approved $3,000 for Alpenfest – up from the $2,000 level the late September celebration received from the county last year, but $2,000 less than the $5,000 Alpenmeister Chuck Anderson requested – and $12,500 for WC Business Facilitation, that program’s usual level of video lottery support.

County commissioners also saw fit to meet a Wallowa County Museum request for $4,000 to restore the century-old double doors at the entrance to museum’s building in Joseph, but that money will come not from video lottery funds but from motel tax funds instead.

Two other requestors meanwhile failed to gain any county funding through the BOC, which deliberated and voted at its April 1 regular meeting. On behalf of the farmers’ markets operated in Joseph and Enterprise, Backyard Gardens, one of the markets’ regular vendors, asked for $3,000. And organizers of the Hells Canyon Relay, a long distance team running event that was held for the first time in September 2012, hoped to receive $4,500.

Commissioners said they didn’t want to give money to the two farmers’ markets because it would be unfair to farmers’ markets not included in the request. (In addition to Joseph and Enterprise, farmers’ markets also operate in Wallowa and Lostine.)

Commissioners weren’t interested in funding the Hells Canyon Relay because they weren’t convinced the event was producing substantial economic benefit in Wallowa County. Last year, most of the relay’s teams came through Joseph and Enterprise very early in the morning, when nearly all the towns’ businesses were still closed.

“I’d be a little reluctant to go along this year until they change their timing,” said Commissioner Paul Castilleja.

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