Better understanding and transparency.
Those were the reasons the Moffat County Tourism Association Board of Directors approved a motion at Tuesday's meeting to change how purchases would be done through the group, as well as how it will present financial information.
Tammie Thompson-Booker, the MCTA vice-chair, will now be the authorizing signer, and the group will have present financial reports monthly instead of every quarter.
Previously, Dan Davidson, the Museum of the Northwest Director, had that role, but he resigned his post on the MCTA board to avoid conflict of interest, as the MCTA is making its new home in the museum.
"I have been appointed by the commissioners, and I'm responsible to the citizens of this county to make sure that this funding is spent properly," Thompson-Booker said of the changes. "And if I don't know how it's being spent, I don't know if it is being spent properly."
Moffat County commissioner Tom Gray suggested to the board it might be good to show financial records monthly, as "it's real important that everything be transparent ... (and) be responsible to the public."
The board agreed.
Davidson presented a financial record at the meeting, showing that construction costs on MCTA's office in the Museum of the Northwest are nearly $900 more than had been approved.
The board approved the over-budgeted costs.
MCTA director Shelly Flannery already has use of the office, which Davidson said is 95 percent done. The public will have access to the office through the museum during museum hours, and there also will be access to the office from outside.
"That is our intent to make (MCTA's office) accessible during off hours," Davidson said.
A new security system is being put in place in the museum, as well as doors and locks.
Seven groups applied for 2007 event funding through MCTA.
They include: the Moffat County Fair board; the Dog Agility Trials in Maybell in conjunction with Grand Olde West Days events; Grand Olde West Day's Association; the Maybell Heritage Group, which does the Heritage horse drive; the Little Britches Rodeo; Whittle the Wood Rendezvous; and the Cowboy Shot-out.
Flannery noted that roughly the same number of groups applied for funding this year as last year, despite more paper work needed to be completed to be considered for funding and $9,000 less being offered.
"I've had mostly positive responses," she said. "A lot of these groups have struggled from year to year to year to have funding. ... In an exchange for the fact that we had to limit our funding, we offered them the resource of looking at their event, looking at their overall budget, looking at where their money is coming in, where their money is going out, and kind of analyzing that, and being able to say to them, 'Have you thought about adding this person as a sponsor because they like this kind of thing.'"
This year, MCTA budgeted $4,500 for event funding, compared to last year's budgeted $13,595.
"That (this year's funding) was based on estimated amount of revenue for the fund," Flannery said. "We did announce at the meetings that when we get the final figures for the fund when they come in in February or March, if the fund comes in significantly over what we estimated, we will beef up the funding and or go to a second cycle. ... We're very, very optimistic that is going to be the case."
The MCTA currently generates its funds through Lodging Tax, in which 1.9 percent is collected on each room rented.
Flannery said one reason event funding is down this year is because MCTA used some of those funds to be eligible for matching-grants, which would bring more funding into the area.
Groups seeking MCTA event funding will make oral presentations at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Taylor Street Bed and Breakfast, 403 Taylor St. The meeting is open to the
In other MCTA news:
- Discussion on MCTA photo use in tourism and a possible copy-right issue
- A year-end report is being worked on; however, no date is set for its release as the MCTA awaits final-quarter numbers