Roger Kramer Cycling: Tour of Missouri: Clearing another hurdle

Roger Kramer Cycling posted:

Organizers and supporters of the Tour of Missouri bicycle race got some good news this week when the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee preserved $1 million in state funding for the 2010 race.

Brent Hugh, executive director of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, says thecommittee’s approval likely means the full Senate will approve money for the race as part of the state budget.

But even if the Senate approves the budget as it, that doesn’t necessarily mean the battle to preserve state money for the race is over.

For one, Gov. Jay Nixon has line-item veto power. But a more critical issue may be ensuring the Missouri Tourism Commission to spend the money for the race. Late last year, the commission rejected spending state tourism money for it after it spent $1.5 million for each of the first three editions of the race (2007, 2008 and 2009).

John Fougere, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development that oversees the state’s tourism board, told the Sedalia Democrat that tourism officials were not bound to include Tour of Missouri funding once a budget was approved.

But Mike Weiss, president of the Missouri Bicycle Racing Association,  told the newspaper that organizers had received verbal assurances from Tourism Commission Chairwoman Marci Bennett that if the money is approved, it would endorse the race.

MOBRA and MoBikeFed have taken over the day-to-day operations of the Tour of Missouri from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s office. Organizers are hoping to make an announcement about host cities within the next two weeks.


Other ways you can help support the 2010 Tour of Missouri: