River connection meeting postponed

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 127 views 

The Arkansas River Connection, scheduled for May 15 and 16 at the Fort Smith Convention Center, has been postponed until “the second or third week of October,” said Maryl Koeth, the executive director of Van Buren’s Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Commission on Wednesday (May 9).

Koeth cited “multiple scheduling conflicts” of event attendees as the reason behind the delay, noting that it wasn’t any one issue that led to the need for rescheduling. Koeth made the announcement at the A&P’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Also Wednesday, Koeth reported to commissioners on National Tourism Week (May 5-13) and gave an overview of the joint event her department took part in with the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau earlier in the day.

Each year the staffs of both Van Buren and Fort Smith A&P Commissions join together to present a random tourist with a gift basket from both communities. This year’s celebration took place at the Arkansas Welcome Center at Dora.

Mayors Bob Freeman of Van Buren and Sandy Sanders of Fort Smith were on-site to present proclamations on behalf of their cities, with John and Carol Aebi from Indiana receiving the honor.

In other news, A&P financials are looking up.
• According to the April statement, total income was at $39,236, up 7.4% from $36,537 during the same period in 2011. Additionally, total expenses saw a one-year decline of 5.8% to $24,972 from $26,496 in April 2011.

• The net income for April 2012 was $14,264 against $10,041 last year (42.1% higher). For the first four months of the year, numbers are at $137,439 in total income against $134,602 in total expenses. The net of $2,836 is below last year’s $9,257 surplus, but still ahead of budget.

• As of May 3, past due accounts for open businesses are at $1,794 with $475 in unpaid taxes from six past due accounts representing businesses that have closed, Koeth said.

Finally, Koeth recognized Barbara Wilson for 40 years of service, and told commissioners that Wilson, a staple of the city’s Welcome Center, will retire on June 30.

“There were some tears when I found out. I cannot imagine the Welcome Center without Barbara there. She’s just unbelievable,” Koeth said.