published: Wednesday, March 06, 2013
TDC recommends changing its distribution percentages
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- At its meeting Thursday, the Tourist Development Council voted to proceed with its plan on realigning how it disburses money.
"The council," its executive director John Scherlacher said, "want to recommend taking administration and operating costs off the top, that's basically the same in all government offices.
"The balance of the funding," he added, "they want to use by percentages -- 65 percent for marketing and promotion; 25 percent in local event grants; and 10 percent for lake maintenance and protection."
Scherlacher said the plan is limited to three years, so if it doesn't work well it can be changed at that time. If it does work well, the policy may be set for a longer time.
Council members had another concern, Scherlacher said. They want to apportion resources so they last all year long. This means, he added, that the council might impose black-outs.
Scherlacher gave a hypothetical example. If an organization wanted help to promote an event unrelated to the 12 Hours of Sebring, but scheduled in Race Week, the group would be denied. Part of the reason is to avoid over-booking of hotel rooms. Another reason is to put TDC funding to better use than advertising an event bound to be overlooked in the excitement and rush of Race Week.
Scherlacher warned that there were still major steps before the council can change anything.
The written recommendation goes first to County Attorney Ross Macbeth, for his OK on the legal aspects of the document. Once it passes his inspection, the recommendation goes to the county commission for final action.
Scherlacher said the issue would be addressed some time in April.
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