By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – A revised budget for the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourism Council approved Monday redirected $250,000 of the CVB’s $567,000 FY 2013 budget request to the Crossroads Arena.
The budget also requires that the CVB maintain $50,000 in a fund to continue grants for local programs.
In a joint meeting, the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors and Corinth Board of Aldermen approved reducing the CVB’s effective operating budget to $283,700, based on revenue projections for the CVB’s half of the 2 percent tourism tax.
“With those two issues resolved we can move forward with our budget with some amendments.” said Kristy White, Corinth Area CVB executive director.
Amendments will be needed to the approved budget that was developed by the joint boards, which included line-by-line changes to the CVB’s submitted budget.
However, since White was not permitted to be involved with budget changes as she had requested, the boards were not aware of financial commitments which had already been made and which could not be changed.
The CVB board will meet later this week, White said, to make necessary budget adjustments.
Ward 1 Alderman Andrew “Bubba” Labas made the motion to adopt the joint board’s revised budget.
Supervisors Lowell Hinton, Dal Nelms, Gary Ross and Tim Mitchell and Aldermen J.C. Hill and Mike Hopkins voted in favor, while Aldermen Ben Albarracin, A.L. “Chip” Wood and Michael McFall dissented.
Albarracin and McFall have questioned the series of actions involving the CVB budget and allocations for Crossroads Arena operations to ultimately arrive at funding to support an expansion and operations at Crossroads Regional Park.
Despite reservations mentioned also by McFall and Hopkins, Mayor Tommy Irvin spoke forcefully in favor of adopting the budget.
He particularly supported using arena bond money of more than $4 million to fund a park expansion, and redirecting the $112,000 from the county and $63,000 from the city that would have gone to the arena, to the park for ongoing maintenance once the expansion is complete.