The Glen Rose Economic Development Corp. voted Monday evening to request the Glen Rose/Somervell Chamber of Commerce to return more than $9,000 in unspent funds related to the events coordinator position the GREDC funded.
“The chamber notified us they no longer wish to be in the events business,” said Jimmy Gosdin, head of the GREDC board.
The GREDC, which administers the distribution of 4B sales tax funds returned to the city from the state to be used for economic development purposes, had given the chamber $36,000 for the event coordinator's salary and for chamber events.
“The money was not all spent,” Gosdin told the board. “A lot of it was. Here is a listing of what was spent and what it was spent on.”
He then gave the board a list of chamber expenses from January to July. The amount paid to the first events coordinator, Tonya Fonseca, who later resigned, and the second events coordinator, Angel Smith, who also resigned last month, totaled $12,807.97.
Chamber events expenses totaled more than $32,000. When the list was presented to the Glen Rose City Council budget retreat on July 23, it wasn't clear which expenses on the list were paid for with 4B funds.
Darrell Best, former chamber chairman and former GREDC board president who requested the GREDC to fund an events coordinator position to help bring visitors and more business to town, gave the board a detailed accounting of the expenses.
He said the chamber kept two bank accounts, one dedicated to 4B funds and a general account.
He said there were two draws on the 4B account related to the July 3 fireworks display — one for $7,500 and one for $5,000. (See his Letter to the Editor on today's Opinion page.)
Best also said that money spent on beer at the golf course during the St. Patrick's Day Golf Tournament sponsored by the chamber was part of a fundraiser.
“It had nothing whatsoever to do with with public money or the 4B,” Best said.
Acting Chamber President Rhonda Cagle said the 4B account currently has a balance of $9,063.98.
The GREDC board voted unanimously to request that amount be refunded to the corporation.
Because he also serves on the chamber board, Gosdin abstained from voting on the decision.