Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority Passes 2018-19 Budget

Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority Passes 2018-19 Budget

On Tuesday the Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority agreed on a budget with no public dissension.

There were no residents to give an opinion of the budget meeting, held at the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce, despite a public forum prior to a unanimous vote. Chairman Gram Spear said he was a bit surprised, but believed the community has confidence in the group.

“I hoped that we’ve proven to be good stewards of the funds,” Spear said. “Every meeting is open to the public, and they’re welcome to voice their opinions.”

Tax revenue increased in the proposed budget, with $470,000 in the 2018-19 financial plan compared to the projected $465,580 slated for the current year.

“An important thing is in April we had a tax revenue of $382,044, an increase from last April’s $338,459, which shows that more people are staying in the community to visit,” Spear said.

During the meeting, the group focused on finding a way to create a stronger brand to entice tourists to visit the area.

“Any time we market, we need a good community brand,” Spear said. “A good example was the ‘Kinston: We’re on the Way’ (slogan), which was very important. If you look at our current logo, it comes off more historical, but that’s not all we do here. When you think about Vivian Howard, Stephen Hill and the Wood Ducks, we also have to figure a way to bring it all together.

“We want to invest our money to put heads in beds. Our goal is to help bring people into Kinston to spend the night, and that will impact the community in a positive way.”

Overall, Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce executive director Laura Lee Sylvester said it was a solid meeting.

“Today’s Tourism Development Authority board’s working agenda included, in addition to regular business, the presentation of next year’s budget to be approved by the board of directors,” Sylvester said. “As executive director, I am very pleased how knowledgeable our board is in planning a successful future. The budget was approved as presented, knowing next year we’re able to make amendments as needed.”

The next Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority meeting will be held July 23 at 3 p.m.

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