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Finances top tourism board meeting

by Minden Press-Herald

Finances headlined the quarterly meeting of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau Tuesday.

Treasurer Ty Pendergrass went over the profit and loss budget performance from January until July, which showed the total income for the first six months of the year at $167,332.71, with a budgeted annual amount set at $360,000. So far, total expenses are $156,795.21, with a budgeted amount of $334,100.

He also presented some proposed amendments that will need to be made to the current fiscal year budget in November. He proposed a 15 percent cut to the annual budget, slashing the budget’s proposed income from $360,000 down to $333,000, a $30,000 difference. With the proposed 15 percent cut, that brings total expenses down to $290,272, with the total income exceeding expenses by $42,728.

Most of the cuts were to advertising and promotion, he said.

He suggested waiting until November to adopt the proposed changes as he feels there will be more to come before their next meeting.

Cultural Crossroads

Julie Vogel, president of the Cultural Crossroads board of directors, approached the commission with what they hope will allow the organization to use major grant funding for annual operations.
Vogel expressed her appreciation of the commission for their help in funding the annual Chickenstock, saying the major grant of $4,000 went a long way in helping them expose children to the arts.

“It would actually help pull in more revenue for Minden through tourism over the entire year,” she said.

The request, if granted, would allow the organization to have a larger impact on their effort to create more public events and attractions.

“Our needs have changed as our four-acre Moess Center for the Arts continues to evolve,” she said in a letter to the commission. “We began renting out our four-acre outdoor venue to other nonprofits, commissions and special interest groups. This has increased our earned income potential and has also grown our operational requirements…By doing so, it will help support our efforts to increase visitors and guests to Minden through a variety of venues and events.”

Executive Director Lynn Dorsey explained the major grant offers more flexibility in spending than the advertising grant, mentioning the grant they received a few years ago to help with the construction of the restrooms at The Farm.

No action was taken on her request, but The Farm will be eligible for a grant request for the 2017 fiscal year.

In other grant news, the commission approved an advertising grant request from the Anna Pink Ribbon Cancer Foundation. The grant will be used solely to advertise for their upcoming 5k run set for Oct. 1 at the Minden Civic Center. Following an awards presentation, a Pink Pearl Tea will be held that afternoon.

The next quarterly meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce, located at 110 Sibley Road in Minden.

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