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City chills HOT funds for Texas Mile
by Gary Kent
Oct 18, 2012 | 928 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — City Council members did not approve requests to give several thousand dollars in hotel and motel tax funds to the Texas Mile organization when they met on Oct. 9.

The organization, which is holding this year’s second event at the Chase Field Industrial and Airport Complex Oct. 26-28, was asking for $8,200 to make some track repairs and for another $20,000, to cover advertising expenses for the event.

Jessica Reyna, event coordinator for the speed competition, said the organization had wanted $40,000 for facility improvements but they were told that the track improvement would be the only part of that request that would be eligible for HOT funds.

Reyna said the money would be used to mill down the pavement on a section of the crosswind runway at Chase to remove a dip at the end of the mile mark.

She also corrected the requested amount on the agenda and said it would cost the organization $8,500 to do the work.

The coordinator said Urban Engineering had looked at the dip, prepared a scope of work to correct the problem and suggested a contractor to do the work.

The estimate for the project was $8,500.

City Manager Deborah Ballí reminded the council that the city would have only about $54,000 in the HOT funds account until the beginning of next year and there would be other requests for those funds.

Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez asked Reyna if it would be possible for the Texas Mile to pay the $8,500 and then the city could reimburse the organization for the repairs after the end of this year.

Reyna called Shannon Matus, organizer of the event, and returned to the meeting to say that possibly could be done.

Reyna had said earlier that the repairs would have to be made.

Councilman David Carabajal expressed concern about the cost of the repairs and said the city has already have given the Texas Mile organization $140,000 for this year.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Scotten and Councilwoman Libby Spires also expressed concern about the request.

Carabajal then made a motion to deny the request to fund the repair and Councilman John Fulghum provided a second.

The motion passed without opposition.

When the matter of the $20,000 in HOT funds came up to help pay for event advertising, not one council member offered a motion and that matter died without any action.

Council members then approved a request from the Bee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center for $128,000 in HOT funds for the calendar year. The council also granted requests from the chamber for additional HOT funds for this year’s Winterfest event and additional expenses.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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