The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission held its regular monthly meeting at 2 p.m. Monday inside the Town Center on the downtown square.
Below is a roundup of highlights from the group’s meeting for March 2012.
Present: Bob Davis, Lioneld Jordan, Brandon Karn, Bill Lyle, Maudie Schmitt, Justin Tennant
Absent: Hannah Mills
Monthly HMR collections up
Total collections reported in February 2012 were $178,289, a 12.81 percent increase over the same month last year.
Overall 2012 collections are at $384,227 which is a 13.82 percent increase on the year.
Below is a graph and table representing five years of HMR tax collections in Fayetteville.
Overdue HMR tax collections
According to City Attorney Kit Williams, the City Prosecutor’s Office collected $12,281.44 in overdue HMR taxes in February 2012.
This brings the total year-to-day collection of overdue HMR taxes to $18,934.93.
Williams of the 29 cases listed on the City Prosecutor’s report, 15 cases now show a zero delinquent balance and nine cases were closed.
The number would have been higher if a $6,553.49 check for overdue taxes from the now closed Northern Exposure restaurant cleared before the end of the month.
Visitors Center sales still up
Sales in the downtown Visitors Center continue to rise.
Total sales for February were $4,548.24, a 260 percent increase over February 2011.
Visits to the center were also up for the month with 1,043 total visitors, a 338 percent increase over the same month last year.
Old Post Office building update
The Commission agreed to order an appraisal of the Old Post Office building from Parrish Appraisals, Inc. at a cost of $1,500. The group is expected to review the appraisal at next month’s meeting before deciding whether to order an inspection of the structure and whether to hire an attorney to negotiate a purchase of the property.
Commissioner Bill Lyle reappointed
Executive Chef William Lyle, of Ella’s Restaurant, was reappointed for a second term following a brief executive session meeting of the Commission Monday afternoon.
Five other applications were received for the open HMR owner/manager position, two of which were tossed due to unqualified applicants. Aside from one at-large position, commissioners must be owners or managers of hotels, motels, or restaurants (HMR).
Commissioners said their decision was based on Lyle’s experience on the Commission as well as his representation of the hotel side of HMR. One other commissioner, Hannah Mills, also represents the hotel side. Maudie Schmitt and Brandon Karn each represent the restaurant sector. Bob Davis serves as the at-large member, while Justin Tennant and Mayor Lioneld Jordan represent the City Council.
Gina Scarpino and Richard Berquist were on hand to invite the Commission to consider purchasing the building once home to Scarpino at 329 N. West Ave. instead of the Old Post Office building on the square. The Commissioners agreed to consider the offer and to view photos and a building layout before their next meeting in April.
As expected, no action was taken regarding Executive Director Marilyn Heifner’s status. Heifner was placed on paid leave last month pending the outcome of a newspaper’s allegations that she violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act when discussing a real estate deal with a reporter.
A hearing is set for next month. Heifner pleaded no contest on March 14, the Northwest Arkansas Times reports.
Full agenda packet