Alcorn County rejects CVB compromise budget

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors voted to reject the revised budget proposal submitted by the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourism Council, setting up the need for a joint meeting with the city of Corinth to resolve the budget issue.
District 5 Supervisor Jimmy Tate Waldon offered a motion to reject the CVB’s compromise budget, seconded by District 3 Supervisor Tim Mitchell. All other supervisors voted in favor of the motion.
The city, which meets at 5 p.m. today, has on its agenda discussion of the CVB’s budget as well.
The CVB submitted a budget request for $567,000 in early August, a budget which must be approved by the county and city.
After pressure from county and city board members to reallocate $250,000 of their budget to the Crossroads Arena, the CVB board/Tourism Council voted to submit a compromise budget diverting a total of $150,000 to be divided equally between marketing, promotion and capital projects of the Crossroads Arena and Crossroads Regional Park, the two jointly-operated agencies that county and city officials have said would ultimately benefit from funds the county and city would no longer give to the arena.
While Alcorn County approved its budget Sept. 4 with no reference to the CVB budget, the city of Corinth’s budget as approved last week included an asterisk beside the tourism council’s 1 percent share of the 2 percent tourism tax. The asterisk noted that the CVB would receive the entire 1 percent share as required by the tourism tax law, but said $250,000 must be allocated to the Crossroads Arena and $50,000 must be allocated to events the CVB has previously supported.
County and city board members had been meeting and discussing diverting funds from the CVB for weeks before it became publicly known, and there were no discussions at any city or county budget work sessions about the matter.
A joint meeting of the two groups has been tentatively set for 9 a.m. Sept. 24, with the location to be determined.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com