Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Rodeo grant beats the clock

The Springhill Rodeo will kick off this week, but their request for an advertising grant was almost kicked to the side.

A close vote by The Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau Commission allowed the funding to slide under the fence, despite the commission's regulations stating otherwise.

The Springhill Rodeo Association requested $2,500 for advertising for the event.

The association turned in their application for the grant on May 24, but application requirements state that such requests need to be turned in 60 days before the event is set to happen.

The Springhill Rodeo is scheduled to begin June 9, which means the application was turned in just a little more than two weeks before the event takes place.

The commission called a special meeting Monday to vote on the application. According to some of the commissioners, this is not the first time the Springhill Rodeo Association has been late on turning in their application.

With such a short time in which to use the money on advertising, Kerry Easley, WPCVBC president, asked if the Springhill Rodeo would even have time to use the money effectively. Martha Belton, WPCVBC Secretary, questioned if the Springhill Rodeo Association had prior knowledge of the due date.

WPCVB secretary Johnnye Kennon said she informed the Springhill Rodeo of the time limits, as she does everyone who requests an application.

"Anybody else in Springhill that does these events, like the Lumber Jack Festival, all know there's a time limit," Easley said. "It's not like it's not common knowledge. Plus, they were specifically told."

"These are adults," Belton said. "They are supposed to be professionals. There's no reason they should be late like this."

The vote resulted in a tie, with commissioners Sam Black (Treasurer) and Lamar Smith (Vice President) voting "yes" and Mary McKinney and Belton voting "no." Easley broke the tie by voting "yes," but he had a message for the Springhill Rodeo Association.

"I'll vote 'yes' this time because it's good for the community," he said. "But we need to make sure they understand when they receive their funding that in no uncertain terms will we even look at another grant from them if it's late. At some point in time they've got to grow up and get it together. We won't do this again."

Downtown Development/ Minden Main Street director Pattie Odom was at the meeting to see about adding her own item to the agenda, but did not need to as she had the paperwork turned in already.

The confusion she experienced, however, prompted her to suggest to the commissioners they send out reminder letters of due dates to people who have requested an application for grants.

Last Updated ( June 07, 2011 )  





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