The Pickett County Board of Commissioners approved using Occupancy Tax Funds for fishing tournaments during its Monday night meeting.
The money will be used by the Byrdstown-Pickett County Chamber of Commerce to help attract tourists to the area during the fall. Several commissioners expressed concerns about the funding, noting the lack of information provided about the impact of the money and how exactly it would be spent.
Commissioner Francis Copeland said he would be holding the Tourism Committee and the Chamber responsible for better information in the future.
“I wanna see better numbers, I wanna see more charts, or I’m not voting on it,” Copeland said. “I’ll make a motion on this, but this is it.”
The fishing tournaments are scheduled through December 16th. The largest tournament, the Bass Fishing League Regional, will be held October 12-14. District One Representative Tony Beaty raised concerns regarding the amount of money being asked by the BFL.
“My question is every other fishing tournament, don’t know what they cost, every other one of these down here is $1,000 to $2,500,” Beaty said. “This is the only one, they’re coming to us, and asking us to approve of $15,500. That would assume to me they’re wanting them to pay it off, so is our motto going to be every time something comes up now, ‘we’re just gonna forget about the city, we’re gonna forget about these other people.’”
Beaty said that the suggested funding was almost half of what the county has collected in hotel/motel revenue.
“We do not have one year under our belt as far as how much money we’re going to be bringing in,” Commissioner Deborah Garrett said. “So this is a learning as we’re going experience.”
In other business, Commissioners unanimously approved the Amonette Cemetery Road to become a county road. The Board also approved the confirmation of Evan Wright as the new Pickett County attorney.
The board received approval of the budget from the state comptroller’s office. S&P also upped the county’s bond rating.