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Tourist Commission Cuts Budget

Diamond Point Welcome Center, the headquarters of the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission. (Stock image).

Jennifer Marsh

Herald Staff

The Harrodsburg Mercer County Tourist Commission approved the second reading of their budget, city ordinance and tax collection. The budget approved for $457,146 is a stark contrast to the $741,855 from the previous year.

“We are at a shortfall and have to do things differently,” said Mike Inman, chair of the board of directors. “Our budget is 60 percent less than last year. We will be operating differently.”

The new budget allows for $92,750 to be given in support of Anderson Dean Community Park, $31,500 for flags and flowers for Main Street, $35,000 for Harrodsburg First, lowered advertising budget from $200,000 to $50,000 and allows for social media and web support.

“We want to have an enhanced online presence,” said Inman. “We have budgeted for it as well as other technological upgrades.

Inman said the commission is revamping how they interact with the community including use of their facilities.

“We are upgrading our conference room to a multi media platform,” said Inman. “We will also be overhauling the internet and phone systems.”

As a way to be inclusive the commission will be offering use of their facilities to local organizations.

“We don’t know how long the need for online meetings will last but in addition to offering that, we want the conference room to be a show piece, a multi media platform suitable for multiple uses,” said Inman, “We will also be upgrading the locks to allow organizations to access the building without someone else being here.”

The commission approved Affordable Computer Solutions for the initial overhaul but has bids out for the technological upgrades for the conference room.

“We see tourism as a centerpiece that includes all organizations within the county,” said Inman. “We want to become more community focused and offer solutions.”

In other business:

  • Appointed Tiffany Yeast as liaison between the commission and Harrodsburg’s 250th Celebration committee. “We want to build a closer relationship and help be a part of the celebration,” said Inman. “Tiffany was the best choice not only because she is a talented lady but because she is already a part of one of their committees.”
  • Motion passed to eliminate the roof escrow account. It has been repaired and insured. The account was rolled into the operational account to be sure the budget is covered for next year.
  • The Commission set aside money to hire a new director.

“We are looking and intend to announce the job officially soon,” said Inman. “We will list it statewide.”

Inman said the three most important qualities they are looking for in a replacement director include: technologically inclined, marketing experience and an inclusive personality.

“We want to continue to support our community and its organizations,” said Inman. We want to be part of the solution.”

The next meeting of the Harrodsburg Mercer Tourist Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, at 8 a.m. at Diamond Point Welcome Center (488 Price Avenue).

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