12 Noon, Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices

Present:M Boyette, E Brame, T Stewart, B Dixon, J Godfrey, L Daniels, K Brinson
K Henthorn, S Henley, C McLamb, J Stallings
D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips

I.Call to Order – E Brame, Chairman

E Brame called the meeting to order at 12:09 pm and stated that a quorum was present. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted. Brame asked for a motion to accept the February minutes that were previously sent to the board.

B Dixon motioned to accept the January minutes as presented.K Brinson seconded.Motion passed unanimously.

II.Finances - February Financials - D Bailey-Taylor

Month-to-Date Revenue for February was $65,754.33. Month-to-Date Operations were $85,802.72. Net Income for the month was -$20,048.39. Year-to-Date Revenues were $602,471.30. Year-to-Date Operations were $556,950.52. Year-to-Date net income was $45,520.78. The January revenues were $41,395.77. Smithfield’s January Revenues were $12,751.41. Selma’s January Revenues were $5,855.97. Kenly’s January Revenues were $1,734.72.Benson’s January Revenues were $471.49.D Bailey-Taylor noted two town revenues were not deposited on time and expenses were up due to the printing of the Visitors Guide.

D Bailey-Taylor presented 2014-15 Budget Worksheet for the board's approval. Projected revenues are 7% increase over this year’s projections and there is budgeted amount of $61,879 from fund balance. Discussion was had about proposed increases and decreases in revenues and expenses like postage, research, equipment and maintenance inc/dec. M Boyette questioned if the bureau would be seeking to purchase a permanent office space. E Brame stated that this could not be done without encumbering the county’s debt service and that the board tried to pursue that before renting property. A fund balance amount will have to be used to cover the cost of a countywide Parks & Recreation master plan study and increasing the capital grants line item to $50,000. L Daniels asked about travel expenses being covered for board members to attend the Governor's Conference on Tourism. J Godfrey shared the importance of the conference. M Boyette asked that D Bailey-Taylor research what other bureaus do as far as paying expenses for conferences are concerned. It was also stated that the board members would need to follow county guidelines for travel expenditures.

K Brinson motioned to adopt the 2014-2015 budget as submitted.J Godfrey seconded.Motion passed unanimously.

IV. Special Projects Committee – T Stewart

E Brame stated that the committee discussed raising the Capital Grants Program from $25,000 to $50,000 for the upcoming budget year. D Bailey-Taylor had presented a list of a 17 organizations that are eligible for the grants. D Bailey-Taylor met with each organization to get their list of projects, timelines and estimated budgets. The committee looked at the proposed projects to see if they would put “heads in beds” or bring people to the county to spend money in restaurants or shopping, past funding amounts, and if their needs met the guidelines for Capital Grants. The Committee selected seven organizations for possible funding in 2015. No board action at this time on capital grant funding except to raise the budget to $50,000 in next year’s budget.

The committee presented a Special Events Grant request from the Town of Selma for their upcoming July 4th in the amount of $500.

B Dixon motioned to grant the proposal as presented.T Stewart seconded.Motion passed unanimously.

Marketing Committee – D Bailey-Taylor

D Bailey-Taylor stated that the bureau was still working on the redesign of billboards with big exit numbers and that the Town of Selma’s marketing committee will meet next week to review. With all the town websites updated the bureau is now working on the county website updates. The wine trail will be updated and have new creative to include the breweries and distillery. The 301 Endless Yard Sale will run from Roanoke Rapids to Dunn (100 miles). The marketing committee reviewed the proposed marketing budget discussing advertising opportunities. While at the Governor's Conference, D Bailey-Taylor talked with various media pitching stories, including Garden & Gun and Southern Living.

VI. Sports Council Committee – J Godfrey

J Godfrey stated that the Sports Council interviewed three companies that were interested in conducting the countywide Parks & Recreation master plan study. The committee recommended Sage Design of Wilmington. Godfrey stated that this group was younger, aggressive, current with technology and tech savvy.

J Godfrey motioned to accept the recommendation from the Sports Council Subcommittee to contract with Sage Design to complete the countywide Parks & Recreation master plan study, giving D Bailey-Taylor the authority to negotiate the contract.K Brinson seconded.Motion passed unanimously.

VII. Staff Report – D Bailey-Taylor

D Bailey-Taylor reported that the bureau was working with surrounding counties on the 301 Endless Yard Sale producing a brochure, updating the website and starting publicity. Recreation Master Plan is on track as far as the deadlines go and staff has an appointment next week with Sage Design on the scope of work contract.Last week Frazier and Associates of Staunton VA conducted a two day wayfinding assessment in Smithfield and concept signs and report will be provided in around 30 days.D Bailey-Taylor updated the board on the Smithfield Crossings project and that the businesses along Industrial Park Drive will be changing addresses to Outlet Center Drive in a few months. D Bailey-Taylor will work with the town on notifying businesses, 911 and the Post Office.

VIII. Old Business - None.

IX. New Business - None.

Meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Boyette, Secretary/Treasurer