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Putnam County Commission News

The Putnam County Commission meeting of Tuesday, August 10, included hearing financial updates from Parks & Recreation, Libraries, Convention & Business Bureau, Development Authority, and Community Corrections.

Parks & Recreation Director Justin Williams reported a surplus for the fiscal year of $162,000. Williams reported that a surplus of $90,000 had been projected. He said the added surplus resulted from grants and lower administrative costs resulting from replacing some full-time employees with part-timers. Williams stated that revenues were down for wedding bookings but were above expectations for baseball and soccer tournaments. He said the Wave Pool revenues were down but should break even on the season in spite of incurring $30,000 in repair expenses before opening.

Williams said that surplus would be used to pay off a line of credit debt with City National Bank and to establish a fund dedicated to financing future playing field repairs.

Library Director Megan Tarbett reported that the library budget came in as expected. Tarbett presented a summary of activities conducted at the library and its branches. Tarbett outlined plans to obtain revenue through fundraisers and grants which would allow the library to expand its future offerings.

Vanessa Ervin reported that the Convention & Visitors Bureau was forced to cancel events which did not comply with health guidelines and, consequently, experienced a drop in event sponsorship revenue. Ervin said that while tourism is small, it results in a big impact by providing 440 jobs and $10 million in personal income. Ervin said that hotel occupancy in the first quarter of 2021 is up 50% over 2020. She stated that the CVB is in the process of identifying periods of low occupancy and recruiting events to boost occupancy.

Drew Dunlap provided the Commission an update of Development Authority finances. Dunlap said that the PCDA’s goal is to become less dependent upon contributions from the county. Dunlap said that the Authority provides administrative tasks that do not qualify for funding. Dunlap informed the Commission that the Authority is seeking businesses at the Fraziers Bottom Business Park which have interest in entering into long-term lease agreements.

Jamey Hunt reported that grant funding made it possible for Community Corrections and Day Report to operate at its projected budget for the fiscal year. Hunt said that judicial delays during the coronavirus crisis resulted in a drop in referrals but was now a thing of the past. Hunt stated that final numbers were not in but he expected that there would be some carryover from the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

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