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Tourism Board approves 2020-21 budget

The Dare County Tourism Board on June 18 gave unanimous approval to its Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget Ordinance.

Guessing at the estimated revenues that will be available following the recent lessening of strict travel restrictions the adopted budget includes:
Occupancy Tax Distribution $2,936,036
Prepared Food Tax Distribution $1,622,330
Appropriation Born Fund Balance $1,818,122
Travel Guide & Merchandise Sales Income 0
Website Revenue $75,000
Interest & Other Revenue $51,000
TOTAL REVENUES $6,502,488

The General Fund for Tourism Board operations include:
Governing Body $30,895
Promotion $5,908,085
Welcome Centers $292,478
Travel Guide & Merchandise Expenses 0
Transfer to Event Site Fund $271,030
TOTAL EXPENSES $6,502,488

Revenues available in the Special Revenue Fund include:
Occupancy Tax Distribution $978,679
Prepared Food Tax Distribution $540,776
Appropriation from Fund Balance $2,850,096
Interest $23,000
TOTAL SPECIAL REVENUE $4,392,551

Special Revenue Fund expenditures for grants total $4,392,551.

Included in the budget is a $25,000 line item added for summer traffic control at the NC12/US158 intersection in Kitty Hawk.

tourism

Dare County Tourism Board Chair Myra Ladd-Bone oversaw the board’s June 18 meeting. Philip S. Ruckle Jr. photo

According to Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel C. Johnson, officers from Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, Duck and Dare County Sheriff’s deputies rotate weekends standing by to keep the intersection clear during traffic light changes. Working overtime shifts, the officers are on hand unless a major incident occurs that requires their help. In the past, Currituck County and North Carolina Highway Patrol were also involved, but have backed out due to staff shortages.

A budget approval condition included working out the details on how the money will be dispersed and what records are needed on where the money went.

Previous Tourism Boards have been sympathetic to requests for help at the Kitty Hawk intersection, but not willing to commit any money.

“This is a hot topic and it is not going away,” said board member Doug Brindley. “But it will show the public that we are trying to help solve the problem.”

Legal counsel for the board W. Jay Wheless advised that any policy on any money the board spends must show it was for the promotion of tourism, only used for public purposes and restricted to a tourism that impacted Dare County.

“The board must lay out a clear expression on how this impacts tourism,” Wheless explained. “I’m sure you can do that, but how you manage it, I do not know.”

Other business during the meeting included approving three Restricted Fund Grant extension requests.

Work on the Kitty Hawk Park Connector Trail Project was moved to June 30, 2021, the Nags Head Multi-Use Path Phase VIII is now due to be completed September 30, 2020 and the Outer Banks Scenic Byways grant period for Scenic Byways Interpretive Signage was extended to December 30, 2020.

The board also voted to amend its conditional use permits with the Town of Nags Head consolidating several different properties into one agreement.

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