By STEVEN NALLEY
The Greater Starkville Development Partnership Board of Directors approved a budget of $624,800 in projected revenues for fiscal year 2012 at its meeting Monday.
The board also elected Steve Langston to succeed Amy Tuck as board chair starting in October, among other changes to the GSDP board. Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and other members of the board also discussed the importance of the bond issue to be voted on Tuesday, and GSDP President Jon Maynard announced the establishment of a new website for the partnership.
Maynard said the revenue projections are down $17,500 from last year, all of which comes from reduced funds from GSDP’s management and marketing contract with the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority.
“The $10,000 was reallocated from OCEDA’s budget to go Parks and Recreation or retirement programming,” Maynard said. “The other $7,500 was just downsizing the budget to balance the OCEDA budget.”
Planned expenditures for FY 2012 are set at $620,146.00, down $20,187 versus last year. Many decreases and increases in expenses offset each other; for instance, decreases of $1,000 in salaries and $2,035 in employer retirement are offset by a $3,575 increase in group health and life insurance.
Terry Kemp, chair of the board’s nominating committee, also reported on nominees to replace outgoing members of the board, including outgoing chair Amy Tuck. In addition to Tuck’s successor Steve Langston, other successors nominated and approved at the meeting included secretary Albert Clark and chair-elect Richard Hilton.
In a personnel matter decided in executive session, the board also hired Austin F. Shafer as vice president of membership in the Starkville Chamber of Commerce.
During reports from guests and board members, Maynard unveiled a new website for the GSDP, http://www.starkville.org . Maynard said three web designers came together to create a site so streamlined it takes as little as five minutes to post updates, which will come on a daily basis as needed.
“There’s very little this website will not do,” Maynard said. “If you can’t find something on the site, let us know, and it will be in there the next day.”
When Wiseman gave his report, he took the opportunity to stress the need for voters to pass the bond issue Tuesday to fund construction of a new police department. Other referendums to build new police facilities have failed over the past decade, Wiseman said, and Starkville cannot afford for it to happen again.
“Quite frankly, our inability to build a facility we need is defining us in a negative way,” Wiseman said. “I think it’s very important for us to get over the hump. If the community ultimately rejects it, we’re back to square one. I can’t emphasize enough that we’re playing games with our own public safety.”