JOHNSTON COUNTY TOURISM AUTHORITY
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
12 Noon, September 7, 2016
Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices
Present: L Daniels, K Henthorn, S Henley, R Childrey, R Capps, E Brame, K Brinson, C McLamb
Absent: M Zapp, R Andrews
Visitor: Don Baumeister
Staff: D Bailey-Taylor, A Phillips
I. Call to Order – K Brinson, Chairperson
K Brinson called the meeting to order at 12:12 p.m. and stated that a quorum was present. With no corrections, the agenda was adopted. K Brinson also asked for any possible Conflict of Interest concerning the agenda. With none being heard the meeting continued.
K Brinson asked for a motion to accept the August minutes that were previously sent to the board.
S Henley motioned to accept the August minutes as presented. K Henthorn seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
II. Finances – August Financials - D Bailey-Taylor
Month-to-Date Revenue for August was $81,008.20. Month-to-Date Operations were $91,383.44. Net Income for the month was -$10,375.24. Year-to-Date Revenues were $200,325.62. Year-to-Date Operations were $157,710.40. Year-to-Date net income was $42,615.22. The July county revenues were $67,897.52. Smithfield’s July Revenues were $21,369.44. Selma’s July Revenues were $9,702.71. Kenly’s July Revenues were $2,380.79. Benson’s July Revenues were $954.55.
DB Taylor stated that Smithfield’s revenues were not deposited before the end of the month and one hotel had not reported revenues to the county for the 3% taxes. Expenses were higher than normal due to several advertising contracts paid for the year.
III. Executive Committee – K Brinson
The board discussed the motion from the last meeting dealing with the possible purchase of a permanent office space for the bureau or other long term rental. Brinson asked for volunteers to form an adhoc committee to explore the possibilities. The committee will include: Scotty Henley, Karen Henthorn and Lynn Daniels.
IV. Special Projects – E Brame
The Special Projects committee met and recommended that the board accept the following grants:
Clayton Harvest Festival - $1,000 (approved in guidelines)
Selma Railroad Days - $1,000 (approved in guidelines)
Benson Mule Days - $1,000 (approved in guidelines)
Clayton Piano Festival - $500
Johnston County Heritage Center Ghost Walk - $500
Princeton Veteran’s Day Celebration - $500
The Neuse Little Theatre – “Bridge to Terabithia” Play - $500
Clayton Downtown Development Association Christmas Village - $500
Benson Parks & Recreation 4th of July - $500
Wilson’s Mills Pumpkin Festival - $500
L Daniels motioned to accept the recommendation as presented. S Henley seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
DB Taylor presented copies of the Capital Grants applications as well as a summary of the grant requests. It was noted that there were eight applications with total amount requested being $115,865:
Town of Selma Parks & Recreation – Tennis Courts - $10,000
Max G. Creech Historical Museum – Building Improvements - $2,500
Town of Selma Civic Center – Renovation project - $10,000
Johnston Community College – Fire Curtain for auditorium - $50,000
Town of Benson – Dog Park at Exit 79 - $25,000
Tobacco Farm Life Museum – Parking/driveway - $5,365
Archer Lodge Community Center – Improvements to concession stand - $3,000
Ava Gardner Museum – Repair exterior wall & French drain - $10,000
The 2016-17 Budget for Capital Grants is $50,000. Each grant request was scored by the applicant on the percentage of the project that is directly related to tourism. After considering options, the Special Projects Committee presented to the full board a request to fund capital grants using up to the percentage of grant projects related to tourism – requests equal $73,115, asking to increase the annual budget line item. In this option, Town of Selma Parks and Recreation would receive $5,000, Max G. Creech $2,500, Selma Civic Center, $5,000, JCC Paul A. Johnston Auditorium, $25,000, Town of Benson Dog Park, $18,750, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, $5,365, Archer Lodge Community Center, $1,500, and Ava Gardner Museum $10,000.
After reviewing and discussing the options:
L Daniels made a motion to amend the recommendation of the Special Projects Committee to adjust grants to reflect $33,500 for Johnston Community College. R Childrey seconded. Motion approved.
R Capps made a motion to accept the amended recommendation for Capital Grants totaling $81,615. L Daniels seconded. Motion approved.
V. Marketing Committee – DB Taylor
DB Taylor stated that the photography project was 80% complete. The staff had a conference call with Simpleview about the website updates. The process is in the contract stage with the contract being reviewed by the Johnston County legal department. The final launch could be six to eight months out.
There was discussion had about WRAL and WNCN digital campaigns from this past year and for 2016-17. Due to the presidential race demand for air time is expensive and crowded. The bureau will pick back up after the November elections with WRAL with a Holiday shopping campaign. DB Taylor discussed the request by Value Place property to re-enter the coop advertising program with Room Saver, and that the Sleep Inn has a valid contract until January, 2017. It can be negotiated at that time with both hotels.
VI. Sports Council Committee – DB Taylor
No report as the council did not meet in August.
VII. Staff Report - DB Taylor
D Bailey-Taylor stated that the bureau had turned over the Smithfield wayfinding project to the town and the first stage will be the gateway signs. The BWST video shoot took place in August with the finished product expected in October. The 301 Endless Yard Sale committee met and there is still interest in bringing in Cumberland and Robeson Counties and there will be an increase in safety signage and communication to all Fire Stations/EMS contacts. S Campbell attended the NC Motorcoach Tradeshow in Concord and is working with several contacts to bring overnight and daytrips to the county. A Brame attended the VisitNC Media event in Raleigh and the new Revival 1869 owners created a featured drink with Broadslab Distillery shine. The town of Clayton is adding more nightlife to the downtown area with the opening of The First Street Tavern, the expansion of The Flip Side and Revival 1869 to open on Main Street in November. The bureau has secured a new email provider/server which staff hopes will solve email delivery/receiving issues. Tourism numbers are up according to the 2015 reports, and the bureau has received several good news stories and was recognized by the Cleveland Chamber as Member of the Month on September 2nd and at the Chamber Economic Development luncheon on August 31st. The bureau is continuing to work with the relocation company and staff at Novo Nordisk in creating a one-stop-shop landing page to help those moving to the area to work.
VIII. Old Business
IX. New Business
Meeting adjourned at 1 PM.