Stivers Board asks Tourism for more money

The Stivers Aquatic & Wellness Center has once again asked for more money from the Barbourville Tourism Commission. This time, the request is for $20,000.

In August 2014, the Stivers Board requested a stipend of $5,000 a month. The Tourism Commission finally settled on a one-time $15,000 donation with $5,000 earmarked for a membership drive. The commission also expected a monthly report from the center specifying exactly where the money was being spent.

The Stivers Board explained in a Sept. 14 letter to the Tourism Commission that $15,000 will be used for multiple promotions and marketing for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The other $5,000 is to be used to improve the software management system and staff training.

Randall Young, who doubles as a member of the Stivers Board of Directors, recused himself from any decision-making on the subject. However, he explained to the commission, “Last year, out of the $15,000 donation, $10,000 went to pay for utilities while the other $5,000 was put towards a marketing campaign. It was earmarked for dissemination of information to the schools and a buy one-get one membership drive.”

“We simply don’t have it in this year’s budget,” said Tourism Director Denise Wainscott. “The Stivers Center’s customer base is both local and regional. It seems TV-4 would be a good way to promote the center, and perhaps we could help them put ads out there.”

“I don’t believe we got the usage we were expecting from our last donation,” said Charles Frasier. “Any money we give them needs to be specified for particular events, and we’ll need a month or two advanced notice to even help with those. This is too broad of a request just to dish out to the general fund. We simply don’t have $20,000, unless you want to cancel every other event for the year.

In the end, the Tourism Commission took no action and chose, instead, to table discussion on the subject until the next meeting.