JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission met Wednesday and discussed plans for upcoming 2018 events.
Chairman Jerry Morgan, started the meeting with an update on 2017 financials.
According to Morgan, the A&P Commission is down about $10,000 from 2016 finals but will finish 2017 up a little over $300,000.
With 2016, and 2017's savings, the commission is carrying just over $500,000 to fund 2018 events.
The commission voted to plan for 2018's budget to be just over $700,000 with the addition of two new hotels opening, The Holiday Inn Express, and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel located across from NEA Baptist Hospital on Johnson Avenue.
The Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Festival requested $100,000 from the commission and pitched the idea about joining forces with another music festival. The commission tabled the idea until plans become clearer.
"Right now, our music event is a one-night deal," Morgan said. "Our goal is to expand that into a multi-day, weekend festival, a music and arts festival. Again, that's what we are looking at. We are looking at hopefully getting a corporate sponsor to propose to the A&P to help fund that and make it into a much larger event than it already is. That's still in the works, still being worked on."
Morgan said they are also working to fund major upgrades to Southside Softball Complex and Joe Mack Campbell Park.
One of the biggest projects for Joe Mack park includes adding turf.
"Talking to representatives with the Jonesboro Baseball Boosters, we lost several tournaments this last year due to rain. Turf won't solve that 100%, but it will help us eliminate the cancellations of some of those tournaments," Morgan said. "It will also help us compete with other towns who are working with turf. That's just the way that sport is evolving."
Morgan said the funding for the turf project would be a collaborative effort.
"The plan that is being proposed, and again is contingent on city budget and city budget approval, the total cost is around $1.1 million. Jonesboro baseball boosters are going to commit $250,000 over five years. Jonesboro A&P will commit $425,000 over 5 years. The city of Jonesboro will commit $425,000 over 5 years. It's truly a collaborative effort that's going to involve everybody."
The Southside Softball Complex is looking to do a complete lighting upgrade too, which would cost about $800,000.
Parks and Recreation spokesmen talked about the need for new lighting. One of the biggest downfalls is getting teams to come to the Southside complex because of safety concerns about the lighting.
Restrooms and concession stands are also submitted in the 2018 plan for Southside.
The commission decided on the following funding recommendations for 2018:
-$10,000 for Jehovah's Witness convention
-$5,000 for 2-night event from Joey Perry Martial Arts
-$2,500 for NEA Pro Rodeo for marketing
-$20,000 for Susan B. Coleman Race for the Cure event.
-$60,000 for Southside Softball complex for lights, restrooms, concession stand, and other renovations.
-$425,000 over 5 years to Joe Mack Campbell Park for new turf project
-$10,000 for DARE motorcycle and bike event
-$1,500 for United Way softball event
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