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April 23, 2014

City tourism sets $2.1M draft budget

$773,000 earmarked for existing city projects

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The London Tourism and Convention Commission met briefly Monday night to discuss a draft budget and the tentative requirements for a director.

The $2.1 million draft budget included a number of expenses including several “transfer to city” items.

“These are all line item expenditures that we talked to the mayor about,” said commission member Mackey Williams. “They were budgeted and paid for by the city that we will transfer  (money) back to the city.”

Items listed in the “transfer to city” part of the budget included expenses for the Wetlands, bike park, the Community Center and improvements to the Community Center, Main Street and Downtown events, the Fourth of July celebration, and holiday decorations.  “Transfer to city” items totaled $773,000.

“A lot of it is estimations and guesstimations we’re just going to have to work our way though it,” Williams said.  “We tried to be as conservative as possible.”

Williams then discussed future projects, stating the “need to do projects that are high profile.”

Those projects could include upgrades to the Farmer's Market, Mill Street Park, the pocket park, Wetlands and bike park.

“The Wetlands and bike park, I would like to get those projects finished up within a 12 to 18 month time period,” Williams said.  “That’s probably not going to be enough money, we’re going to be updating those numbers.”

In the draft budget, the Wetlands and bike park were given $117,000 and $65,000 respectively.

“We have to develop a rainy day fund before anything else because if we get the opportunity to get a grant and we have to match it within a set amount of time. We’ll need that money in the bank all the time,” Williams added.

During open discussion, commission member Troy House noted the draft budget didn’t include an estimate on event insurance.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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