Eureka Springs CAPC approves budget for 2017

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission has completed its 2017 budget.

At its regular meeting Dec. 14, the commission approved the 2017 budget. The approval came after a lengthy workshop, where the commissioners agreed to pay $40,000 for The Auditorium's utilities to help the city out. Commissioner James DeVito explained that the city doesn't have enough money to pay for fire and police equipment, saying the CAPC is the only city department that has extra revenue.

Chairman Ken Ketelsen said he was happy with the commission's 2017 budget.

"Great strides have been made in the last couple of hours," Ketelsen said.

Commissioner Terry McClung said the budget is available on the CAPC's website for anyone who wants to know more about it. The budget comes to $1,515,700, McClung said.

Also at the meeting, finance director Rick Bright presented the financial report, saying the cash balance as of Nov. 30 was $540,639.02. He said the tax collections are remitted in November, but they are October collections. He listed these collections, saying restaurants brought in $83,958, up $7,304 (9.5 percent). Total lodging collections are $92,585, up $2,356 (2.6 percent). These lodging collections include: $21,225 for hotels, up $649 (3.2 percent); $44,961 for motels, down $1,376 (3 percent); $9,961 for B&Bs, up $86 (0.9 percent); and $16,437 for cabins and cottages, up $2,998 (22.3 percent). Bright said the year-to-date lodging collections compared with 2015 are up $48,542 (7.9 percent) and the year-to-date restaurant collections compared with 2015 are up $41,267 (6.8 percent). The year-to-date total collections, he said, are up $89,810 (7.4 percent).

Bright said he needed to move $10,500 from the cash balance to reserves and asked the commissioners if they wanted to move more money to reserves. De facto commissioner Damon Henke said he wanted to leave the money where it was, but McClung said he didn't agree with that.

"I think it's better that it's [in reserves] because it allows us to start with more of a clean slate," McClung said.

Henke asked if there's any difference between the interest in the accounts, and Bright said the interest is the same.

"It's just that we don't spend the reserves without a vote of the commission. If you look at what just happened in Gatlinburg ... if that was to happen here, we'd be in bad shape with no money in reserves," Bright said. "We're up $90,000 over what we projected for this year already."

"So if you don't put it into reserves, it still earns the same amount of money," Henke said. "You just don't have to ask us to spend it."

McClung said he likes having more money in reserves.

"I think it's good to have it there. If we need it to put on a show or something, all we have to do is vote for it," McClung said. "It's not like it's going away, but I think it's a good place to be."

McClung moved to place $40,000 in the reserve fund, and the commission agreed to do so.

The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, at City Hall.

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