Donna Bailey-Taylor, President/CEO

On August 3, 2016, eight Tourism Capital Grant applications were approved by the Johnston County Tourism Authority for a total of $81,615 in funding.  The Special Projects Committee reviewed all applications, and made a recommendation to the full board that each project receive a percentage of funds requested, based on the grant application guidelines, eligibility, grant scores, and the projected timeline for completion of the project.

“For more than 25 years, the Tourism Authority has committed funds to enhance the county’s historic, recreational, and cultural assets, therefore, building up the tourism infrastructure,” stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, President/CEO, "after all, it is what makes Johnston County unique or stand out among the other destinations along I-95 and 40 that attracts visitors to explore and choose our destinations."

Over the many years of supporting tourism projects around the county, over $1.2 million dollars of occupancy tax money has been utilized to build auditoriums, develop new museums, lighting along I-95 interchanges, install gardens, renovate historic buildings, and many other projects.  

The 2016-17 grant recipients and description of grant projects are as follows:

Archer Lodge Community Center - $1,500
The project will consist of the renovations at the community center to provide a concession stand at the park to serve sporting events.

Ava Gardner Museum - $10,000
Grant funds will be used for repair of the exterior wall to the museum building to correct moisture issues with a French drain and new wall coating.

Benson Parks and Recreation Department - $18,750
Grant funds will be used to construct the Dog Park at Exit 79 to attract vehicles to exit and utilize the visitor-related businesses at the Benson exit.

Johnston Community College, Paul A. Johnston Auditorium - $33,500
As part of the overall renovation to the auditorium, grant funds will be used to purchase a new fire curtain for the stage.

Max G. Creech Historical Museum - $2,500
Grant funds will be used to make minor repairs to the museum structure, HVAC and display counters.

Tobacco Farm Life Museum - $5,365
Grants funds will be used to make the museum more accessible to group tours and visitors driving RVs to extend the driveway with an additional HWY 301 exit from the parking lot.

Town of Selma – Parks & Recreation - $5,000
Funds will be used to construct a new regulation tennis court and fencing at Harrison Campus for residents and parks and recreation events.

Town of Selma – Civic Center - $5,000
Funds will be used for the renovations of this historic building to provide meeting space and an event venue for the Town of Selma.

For more information on the Johnston County Tourism Authority list of capital grant recipients 1987-2017 visit