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A&P Commissioners hard at work

Posted: November 24, 2012 - 4:22pm

(Filling in for Rachel’s Rumors this week.)

The deadline for applications to the Advertising and Promotion Commission has come and gone.

At a special meeting on Nov. 14, each commissioner left with a hefty stack of funding requests to be considered for 2013 events.

The A&P Commission collects a tax on guests who stay at Conway hotels and motels and from Conway’s restaurants and eateries of prepared food — the hamburger tax.

CPA Barbara Money, the administrator of accounts, reported that the commission collected $266,785 in October for September sales, $241,132 from eateries; $27,190 from hotels/motels.

For the year so far, the commission has collected $2.8 million, an increase of 7.5 percent over last year, with three months in 2012 to go.

The A&P Commission has the power to revoke a permit to operate and place a lien on those businesses that do not pay their taxes. Sometimes just a mention in the Log Cabin Democrat will nudge the business to do what they ought.

The decisions about which activities the commission chooses to support are usually based on how many folks from out-of-town the event will attract.

“Heads in beds,” they call it.

For instance, the commissioners approved a proposal for $2,500 for advertising for a homes tour in Hendrix Village Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 2.

Organizers of Bethlehem House Holiday Tour of Homes said in their application that they hope to entice tourists from across Arkansas to see “the unique design and decor of eight homes in Hendrix Village, along the way raising funds for Bethlehem House’s campaign to build a new transitional shelter.”

Beth Tyler, chairman of the event, estimated that 5 percent of the participants would choose to stay overnight.

Applications for 2013 include many that have received funding in the past, including the Arkansas Shakespeare Festival, the Downtown Partnership, ArtsFest, the Soaring Wings half marathon, Blackbird Academy, a Toad Suck Run, the Hendrix College athletic department.

The University of Central Arkansas is asking for grants for baseball, soccer, softball and track events, and others, plus the popular Public Appearances program.

The commissioners will deliberate in the next few months, voting up, voting down.

Conway businessman Ray Kordsmeier is A&P Commission chairman; Jeremy Gardner, manager of Friday’s restaurant is vice-chairman.

The commission meets every first Tuesday of each month at 2:30 p.m. in the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce conference room at 900 Oak St.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234. Rachel’s Rumors by Rachel Dickerson will return next week.)

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