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Tourist commission audit remains strong despite softer economy

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - It would be hard to top the financial success achieved by the Shepherdsville-Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission in 2006-07.

Besides having a good year in tourism, the conference center was home for several months to CSX-related contractors who rented space for the January 2007 train derailment cleanup.

But, accountant Sandy Verbeck said that 2007-08 wasn’t a bad fiscal year, despite the soft economy.

While tax receipts from the lodging tax and the restaurant tax were down slightly, belt-tightening by the staff led to another good year.

She said the commission still was able to spend $100,000 on Paroquet Springs Conference Centre maintenance issues during that time.

Her only suggestion was for the commission to look at refinancing its conference center debt, which stands at just over $2 million.

Verbeck said the commission has a variable loan and she suggested looking at a fixed rate.

If the rate went to the maximum allowed, which is 12 percent, it could mean a difference of $500,000 a year in interest alone.

Commissioner Tom Kelly said he would like to see executive director Elaine Wilson have some type of report ready for the January meeting on the possibility of a fixed rate.

He would also like to see additional money be placed on the loan, especially since the agency has more money in the bank than a year ago.

Wilson wasn’t eager to expend too much of the funds with the economy still being very soft.

She credited the staff with looking for ways to cuts expenses over the past few months.

To have 30 percent more events in November with less expense is amazing, said Wilson.

The commission unanimously accepted the audit.

The next meeting of the Shepherdsville-Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission will be at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14,, at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre. The public is invited.