By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
There will be a little less money in the budget of the Corbin Industrial Development Agency (CIDA) starting next month. That was pointed out during a special meeting of the organization Thursday morning, which later passed the budget for 2013-14 fiscal year in a 4-2 vote.
The new budget comes in at an estimated $149,470, which CIDA Executive Director Bruce Carpenter said at the session was about $10,000 below the budget they had last year. He added CIDA hopes to make up the difference through sponsorships from companies and businesses.
The biggest cut in the budget’s funding was the income that came in from the City of Corbin, which gave CIDA $25,000 this new fiscal year. That’s down from $50,000 a year ago.
“We’ll have to watch it daily and monthly. And until we have firm commitment from our partners, we’ll have to be flexible and make adjustments when necessary,” Carpenter said after the meeting, held at the CIDA-Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce office on Depot Street.
Last week, CIDA chair Ron Herd learned of the cutback after a letter from City Manager Marlon Sams, saying the $25,000 the city had for CIDA last year came from Kentucky Off-Track Betting, which closed their off-track betting parlor off Cumberland Falls Highway earlier this month. That was due to the reduced handle of betting at locations in Corbin, Jamestown and Maysville. As a result, the city made changes in their own budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, to reflect the loss of revenue.
“We were told we’d have to find the $25,000 either from another source or by cutting expenses,” Herd said at the time.
Carpenter said the biggest cut in expenses was in Marketing, which was budgeted at $15,560.76 for the new fiscal year. He noted one way CIDA would make up the cuts was by doing different types of marketing events.
“Because so many cities are making budget cuts, we will do more consultant-type events than the weekly marketing trips and conferences like we’ve done in previous years,” he said.
For the new budget’s income sources, CIDA listed the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce as its largest source of funding, at $45,000. Second was the Tri-County Industrial Authority at $30,000, while the City of Corbin’s $25,000 was third. A projected partnership with the Chamber was fourth at $20,000, while a $10,000 contribution from the Whitley County Fiscal Court rounded out the top five sources.
Included as income sources for the budget, CIDA listed $5,000 from the Corbin Tourism Commission. In addition to his position with CIDA, which is involved in getting industry and jobs for the city, Carpenter is also the executive director for the Chamber.
He said after the session, “Both the Chamber and CIDA work hand-in-hand with educational development programs in the area. And Tourism supports us in marketing efforts. They’re a good partner.”
By far, the largest expense source in the new budget was in Payroll Expenses, which came up to $108,879.72. After that, Marketing/Retention/Training was second with $15,560.76, while Medical Insurance was third with $12,142.20. Expenses for telephone service came in fourth at $3,060, while the fifth largest expense was the $1,768.32 budgeted for an Equipment Lease.
“I’ve broken down some different sources. We’ve made some reductions, and looked where we can cut. We feel like this is a budget we can operate on, within our bounds. … we’ll watch it very closely, especially the end of this quarter,” said Carpenter.
The special meeting started off with board members going into Executive Session, which lasted less than 10 minutes. When that session ended and the special meeting resumed, the remainder of the meeting centered on discussions on the budget took place from Carpenter and the six board members.
When it was time to vote, the “Ayes” had it, with Herd and board members Brian Baylor, Dallas Eubanks and Bill Storms voting in favor of approving the new budget, while board members John Wooley and J. Bill Sosh voting against it.
After the meeting, Carpenter said both CIDA and the Chamber would continue to use a “regional” concept in the efforts to recruit and bring business to the area.
“I think most of the people see value in the regional concept, and the things that we do, like a regional training consortium through Bluegrass State Skills,” Carpenter said. “When we merged the Corbin and Williamsburg chambers into the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Comerce, we worked hard to market it as a ‘county’ chamber and a regional chamber. People saw the importance of it.”
He also answered about this year’s NIBROC Festival coming up in August.
“We’ll move forward as best as we can, and make it as best we can. We are contacting vendors. We’ve had a few from the Tri-County area, and we welcome anyone from the Tri-County area,” Carpenter pointed out.