Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Livingston Approves Paying Half Of Retail Consultant Hiring Cost

The Livingston Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved covering half the cost of hiring a retail consultant.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shannon Cantrell said the cost would be $30,000 to cover a one-year contract. Cantrell said the idea comes from discussions about addressing sales tax leakage in Overton County.

A motion was made to cover the whole cost, until Alderman Kelly Coleman said the benefits of retail recruitment and retention would benefit more than just Livingston.

“Since Ben (Danner) has been at the table in these discussions, is the county also going to be asked to belly up thirty grand?” Coleman said. “Are they at the table on the financial piece of this? Because it’s a countywide problem.”

Cantrell said she would make the same recommendation pitch to cover remaining costs at the next Overton County Commission meeting. Coleman said that if the county is serious about retail recruitment, he does not know what their reluctance would be.

“Do you foresee any problem with Ben (Danner) being able to get that from his commission?” Coleman said. “What’s the read there? What are we not hearing here?”

Mayor Curtis Hayes said the board should not just guess on what the county might do.

“Instead of speculating, I think that conversation with Ben (Danner) just needs to happen,” Hayes said. “I think going in front of the county commission is the proper thing to do.”

Hayes said the city had roughly $53,000 in American Rescue Plan money that was eligible for this expense. Cantrell said this retail consultant is part of an overall goal of solving $2,000,000 in sales tax leakage.

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