A&P Commission Recap: April 2011

An excerpt from a proposal to extend bonds used to build the Town Center to help fund an expansion of Walton Arts Center facilities in Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission held its fourth meeting of 2011 at 2 p.m. Monday inside the Town Center on the downtown square.

Below is a roundup of highlights from the group’s monthly meeting for April 2011.

Roll Call

Present: Bob Davis, Marilyn Heifner, Lioneld Jordan, Brandon Karn, Bill Lyle, Hannah Mills, Maudie Schmitt
Absent: Justin Tennant

Monthly HMR collections down

HMR tax collections were down $3,569 (-2.06%) from the same month last year. Total collections reported in March 2011 were $169,093.

Overall 2011 collections are now at $506,675, a 4.84% increase on the year.

Overdue HMR tax collections

According to City Attorney Kit Williams, the active overdue HMR collection case list shrank from 22 to 17 in March.

The City Prosecutor’s Office collected $2,440.41 in overdue HMR taxes, bringing the year-to-date total to $11,332.27.

Visitors Center sales still up

Sales in the Visitors Center saw another major increase over the same month last year.

Total sales for the month were $2,450.88, a 228.8% increase over March 2010.

Visits to the center were also up for the month with 691 total visitors, a 60% increase over March 2010.

Town Center contracts up

Executed contracts for events in the city’s Town Center facility were up 47% over March 2010. Contracts for the month totaled $35,950 bringing the year-to-date total to $108,585 (+28%).

Bond extension proposed for Walton Arts Center expansion

Mayor Jordan brought forth a proposal to extend bonds used to build the Town Center to help fund an expansion of Walton Arts Center facilities in Fayetteville.

The plan would be part of the city’s pledge to help with the expansion through a partnership with the University of Arkansas.

The $9.5 million issue would extend bonds set to be paid off in 2015 for up to 25 years and would secure $6.7 million to contribute toward the arts center’s planned 600-seat venue on the current Fayetteville campus.

Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce president Steve Clark was in attendance and urged the commission to forward the plan to the City Council.

“We would love to see this happen,” said Clark. We see it as an investment in all of the businesses in our community because this 600-seat additional theater will bring more people. Those people will spend more money and it will permeate all of our businesses, whether they are sole proprietorships or larger organizations.”

If approved by the council, the plan would still need voter approval.

The commission will continue the discussion of the proposal on May 16 before making a decision.

Event funding discussion delayed

Due to a lower-than-normal amount of leftover funds, the commission agreed to wait an extra month before awarding any money to those seeking help with events.

Director Marilyn Heifner said delaying the awards until June could allow time to generate more money for those groups seeking help.

“That way,” said Heifner, “the Town Center remodeling will be finished and if we have any extra money then, we can go from there.”

Full agenda packet

About the A&P Commission

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission determines the use of the city’s advertising and promotion funds. The funds come from the 2% tax on purchases made at Fayetteville’s hotels, motels and restaurants (HMR).

State law requires the A&P Commission to be made up of four hotel, motel or restaurant owners/managers, two City Council members, and one member from the public at-large.

» Learn more at experiencefayetteville.com