The Corbin Tourism Commission approved the first reading of its $1.362 million budget for 2016-17 fiscal year Tuesday night.
The budget includes multiple event partial sponsorships including:
- $4,500 for the fine arts events
- $15,000 for Nibroc
- $5,000 for Corbin Industrial Development Commission’s marketing efforts
- $3,000 for Eggfest
- $5,000 for the beautification project off of exit 25
- $4,000 for the Corbin Varsity Club, with $2,000 for the Pigskin Classic and $2,000 for the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament.
The commission held a budget workshop last Wednesday to discuss the requests from various event organizers seeking sponsorship.
Nibroc organizers requested $20,000 for the annual festival held in August. The commissioners initially agreed to keep the sponsorship at $10,000 as had been given to support the event in 2015.
The line item was one of four that the commission revisited Tuesday. Commissioner Tom Rose said tourism should keep it at $10,000.
However Commissioner Teresa Carpenter suggested increasing it to $15,000.
“This is the biggest tourism draw that this town has,” Carpenter said.
Commissioner Tanya Marcum agreed and when there was no dissent, the amount was increased.
At the workshop, the commissioners had initially approved $6,000 for the Corbin Varsity Club, earmarking $2,000 for the Pigskin Class, $2,000 for the Cumberland Falls Boys Invitational Tournament and $2,000 for the girl’s tournament.
Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel voiced support for the sponsorship, calling the basketball tournaments a perfect example of sports tourism.
Tom Rose, who works at Country Inn and Suites hotel off of exit 25, said the tournament has done little to help the bottom line of the hotel owners within the city limits.
“They didn’t stay with us,” Rose said of the teams travelling from out of town for the tournament. “They went north (to exit 29).”
Kriebel said Tuesday that it was brought to her attention that the girl’s tournament would not continue.
As the varsity club had requested a total of $5,000, Kriebel asked the commissioners if they wanted to increase the amount earmarked for each event.
However, the commissioners voiced their desire to keep the amounts at $2,000 for each event.
The Fine Arts Association of Southeastern Kentucky had requested $10,000. The commissioner agreed to give $4,500 as they had done in 2015.
“It is a quality event,” Commissioner Alan Onkst said.
Finally, the commissioners allocated an initial $40,000 toward the construction of the Corbin Railroad Museum.
At the commission meeting in April, the commissioners agreed to move forward with the construction of the museum in the former L&N Railroad depot building and restoring the historic L&N 2132 locomotive, tender, and caboose, and the French Broad River Pullman that are on display next to the depot.
The cost for the whole project is estimated at between $800,000 and $1 million.
In addition to the $40,000, the commission will have approximately $72,000 in carry-over funds from the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Tourism Commission Accountant Kyle Perkins told the commissioners Tuesday that the commission received $1.4 million in revenue from its portion of the city’s restaurant and transient taxes with two months left until the end of the fiscal year.
The 2015-16 fiscal year budget estimated revenue for the year at $1.366 million.
Perkins noted previously that the commission has more than $450,000 cash on hand.
The commissioners approved the first reading of the budget by a vote of 4-1. Commissioners Jackie Willis and Victor Patel were absent. Onkst cast the “no” vote.
Onkst declined to comment when asked why he had voted against the budget.