During a recent meeting of the Cumberland Tourism Commission, members noted funds “were down” on the motel and restaurant tax.
“I think you all will agree we can expect to see some diminishing numbers with the state of the economy in this end of the county — with lay offs from mines, etc.,” said newly elected Chairman Cleon Cornett. “I know of my visiting of the restaurants they all say business is down already.”
Board member Joe Creech said the budget was prepared based on a 10 percent increase. He said the commission may need to “rethink some things.”
Director Tracy Bailey reported she will once again represent the commission at the WKYT Kentucky Sport Boat and Recreation Show to be held at Heritage Hall and Rupp Arena in Lexington Jan. 31 through Feb.3.
“The Black Mountain Thunder Zip Line will be featured again this year also,” said Bailey. “We have been offered a free booth space again this year. Brandon Pennington, with Harlan tourism, will be attending the event also.”
Plans for the city’s annual Black Bear Festival were discussed. Bailey said Brody the Bear will be back this year. The carnival has already been booked. Vendor notices have been sent out. A new triplet-sister contemporary Christian group called “Red Roots” will be performing on Friday night of the festival.
“Lots of things have already been booked and we do need a few committees,” said Bailey. “We’ll be contacting those wanting to help as things progress with the festival.”
Bailey also noted letters have been mailed for this year’s mine rescue competition. She said two teams have responded they will participate.
She also reported a $13,000 grant was awarded for a stage from the R.E. Bob Frazier Foundation. Suggestions were discussed about the layout and size of the stage. Also, it was requested that the stage be made “movable.”
Other commission actions included a discussion about two bank certificates of deposit (CD), which will mature this month. After a lengthy discussion, commission members approved a CD, in the amount of $24,557.75 maturing on of Jan 17, be cashed in and deposited in the bank.
It was also approved a check will then be written to the city of Cumberland in the amount of $9,400 for the commission’s contribution for playground equipment for the Black Bear City Park.
It was further approved that a CD maturing on Jan. 29 be renewed at the prevailing rate on a six-month staggered basis. Also approved was the renewal of the loan, which that CD guarantees.
Creech suggested the maturity dates of all the commission’s CDs be staggered so that they don’t mature within weeks of each other.
After entering into executive session, the commission returned with no action taken.