The Evarts Tourist and Convention Commission cut advertising funds from their budget to compensate for the loss of revenue. The action was taken during a meeting on Monday.
Looking forward to their annual Fourth of July Parade — Harlan County’s only Independence Day parade, and their annual Labor Day festival, members agreed in order to fund these events a tightening of their budget had to be made. It was agreed advertising seemed to be the best department to cut.
“It will take at least $3,000 for the fireworks display we have after our Fourth of July Parade,” said Commission Chair Janice Napier. “We may be able to save some of the fireworks we purchase to use for the Labor Day Festival.”
Commission member Sydney Johnson said the tourist commission had committed to purchasing new Christmas lights to replace ones the city has had for years and years. She said she would like to see that project completed before committing to something else.
“We’d like to have all nice lights for the city before the Christmas season is upon us,” said Johnson. “If we see in the future we have additional funds to help with other projects or advertising we can bring it back before the board and address it then.”
Commission members Henry Shackleford and Roger Webb agreed with Johnson.
“The truth of the matter is we’ve already started with the Christmas lights and if we’re going to see it through we need to keep going with it,” said Shackleford. “We’ve got fireworks, parade and a festival coming up. We have to plan ahead for these things. We don’t know what next week is going to bring for the tourist commission. Next weekend may be a super weekend and we hope it is.”
Asking about Coal Severance Tax funds promised to the commission, Clerk Kristi Lamb said she had not heard from fiscal court about the funds. She said a scope was submitted, but “no word has been received to date.” She added a lot of the items on the list are needed for their pending “Trail Town” designation.
Going over their financial report, members questioned expenditures, but added they were “happy” all their bills were paid to date and approved the report as submitted.
In other commission actions:
*Approved a $100 donation to the Evarts Police Department’s Cops 4 Kidz Program, which was established to help kids stay off drugs;
*Approved the purchase of six additional Christmas lights for the city if the budget permits;
*Approved using Tony Bowman, of River Ridge, to DJ during their Labor Day Festival. Also approved having their annual Duck Race at the Labor Day Festival and set the price of tickets at $5 each;
*Voted to advertise for sealed bids for an inflatable package to be used for the Labor Day Festival. Bids may be brought to city hall;
*Voted to table a request from Mayor Eddie Manning to help with the purchase of a fountain, to be placed near the coal miner monument, until funds are available.
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