Somervell County commissioners ok'd a contract that could add up to increased revenue.

At a called meeting Thursday, commissioners voted to approve the drafting of a contract with David Carter that will allow him to pursue major facility sponsors for the expo center.

Carter will seek sponsors who would have the opportunity to purchase an 80x20 foot banner at either end of the arena.

Currently the facility's grandstand section does not have signage.

The larger sign has been offered to an area automobile dealer for $12,000 for the first year. The agreement approved by the county would require a three-year contract.

The cost to produce and market the signs will come at no additional cost to the county, but Carter will get the first year's profit to cover production, travel and marketing costs since the county was advised to not enter into an agreement that would require upfront payment of those costs since there is no guarantee profits will be returned.

It was estimated that over a three-year period, the county could see profits on almost $9,000 on the larger banners.

"In my opinion, it is better than what we are getting now (nothing)," Ford said

Abbott clarified that the signage would not replace event sponsorship signs such as those displayed at the PRCA Rodeo, and the signage would improve the look of the expo and give it the look of other events centers sought after for events.

Another potential income generator - an agreement between Rose Creek Western Apparel and Merchandise and Lori Prichard Abbott for the management the retail outlet at the expo center - was recently approved by commissioners.

That three-year agreement pertains to a proposal by expo Director Frank Abbott to establish an outlet stocked with merchandise promoting inventory from national sponsors.

Essentially, the outlet would sale merchandise in exchange for exclusive marketing of the products.

"The merchandise will be provided free of charge to the county," County Attorney Ron Hankins explained.

All other items sold in the outlet must first be approved by Abbott.

While the county sought proposals for the outlet contract, Prichard's was the only one received.

Per the agreement, the county will received a 15 percent commission on sales, with Prichard using another percentage to regenerate stock, County Judge Mike Ford said after Commissioner James Bernard asked why the percentage was so low if the merchandise belonged to the county.

Meanwhile, Abbott is working to improve the overall look of the facility and has had county approval in efforts he hopes will also help attract big names, big money and big events.