Council approves hotel-motel tax funds for CofC
by Gary Kent
Apr 28, 2012 | 942 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — City Council members approved their side of an agreement with the Bee County Chamber of Commerce concerning hotel and motel tax funds when they met at City Hall Tuesday evening.

The new agreement calls for the city to forward $128,000 a year to the chamber for operating funds.

The agreement has not yet been reviewed and approved by the CofC board.

It also represents a significant reduction from the previous agreement with the chamber, whereby the CofC received 50 percent of the money collected from the tax.

Money collected by the city in occupancy taxes from the local hotels and motels must be spent to encourage tourism and to put “heads in beds.”

Several organizations apply for funds from the taxes each year to promote and advertise their events. One of the criteria for applying for the funds is to show that the events will help fill local motel rooms.

Organizations have been hitting the fund hard this year and a local church, which is planning a Cinco de Mayo celebration in a week, was told to wait until next year to apply.

Interim City Manager Deborah Ballí told the council that cash available in the fund has been depleted until later in the year.

The council also opted to take no action on giving final approval to a formal application that organizations must fill out before asking for hotel and motel tax money.

The council plans to discuss the application during a workshop session scheduled for next month.

Councilman David Carabajal made the motion to approve the agreement with the CofC and that was seconded by Councilwoman Libby Spires.

In other business, the council voted to:

— Appoint Art Gomez and reappoint Fernando Galvan and Marie Herrera to the Traffic Safety Commission.

— Approve a crosswalk in the 300 block of Trojan Drive and a no parking zone at the north end of the Mattresses and More location on North St. Mary’s Street.

— Approve the purchase of $18,582.14 for parts to repair the differential of a New Holland front-end loader.

— Postpone action on spending $161,500 for a new communications tower after Councilman Carabajal suggested that the city might be able to lease space on an existing tower and save some money.

— Approve the payment of an $8,000 invoice from Spa Skateparks, an $18,856.36 invoice from Gignac & Associates and a $25,166.26 invoice from AG/CM, Inc. Construction Management.

— Authorize a budget amendment for $5,935 to pay for plumbing inspections.

— Accept a $6,650 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at Beeville Municipal Airport.

— Set a date in May for a session on strategic planning.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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