Board of Aldermen mull contract with Chamber to manage Hotel Occupancy Funds
The Salado Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center will move south to the Salado Museum after appropriate renovations are made for staff offices.
The renovations are estimated at about $10,000. The Chamber Board of Directors awarded the bid to SVC Remodeling Construction at their March 16 meeting.
Work will begin March 27 and is expected to take about three weeks to complete. The Chamber and Visitors Center will give its current landlord, Tim Brown 30 days notice before vacating the current premises for the new location on South Main Street.
The new location will cost the Chamber $1,000 per month and the Chamber will have the first four months at no cost in order to recoup some its initial expenses in making the move to South Main Street.
While the Chamber is making this move, the Village of Salado Board of Aldermen will meet on March 23 in executive session to discuss the contract between the Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Salado.
According to the agenda for the special called meeting, the board will consult with Village attorney Linda Sjogren to seek her advice on the “duties and obligations of the parties and contract compliance regarding: Contract between the Village of Salado and the Salado Chamber of Commerce.”
Aldermen approved a contract with the Salado Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 1 2016 to provide consultation services to the Village.
At that time, alderman Frank Coachman made a motion to approve and offer the contract to the Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Pro Tem Brown seconded.
At that time, aldermen had a lengthy discussion about Chamber and Hotel/Motel funds, as well as Chamber reserves, and the need for the funds to be spent in a legal manner.
The motion carried 4-1 with Alderman David Williams voting against.
The 2016-17 hotel occupancy tax (HOT) budget is $187,850 in income, including a transfer of $30,000 from the HOT reserves to the HOT operating fund. It anticipates $150,000 in occupancy taxes.
For expenses, it allots $20,550 in benefits for two employees and $122,100 in salaries and payroll taxes. It allocates $5,000 for a director benefit program, $950 for insurance and a payment of $39,250 to the Salado Chamber of Commerce.
The contract outlines a Scope of Work to be performed by the Salado Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Village of Salado. The Scope of Work can be found in the Village of Salado budget for 2016-17.
All events, rent and utilities for the Chamber office and visitors center, marketing and advertising and other expenses are funded by the Chamber of Commerce.
HOT revenues are based on taxable occupancy to the lodging properties that are within the Extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the Village of Salado.
Taxable occupancy receipts for calendar year 2016 totaled $2.26 million.
In 2007, occupancy receipts totaled $3.9 million with an inventory of 311 rooms. The Stagecoach Inn accounted for just over a third of those revenues in 2007. At an assumed $110 average, this represents 35,454 room nights.
In calendar year 2015, HOT receipts totaled $2.66 million. Stagecoach Inn motel closed early in the third quarter of 2015, taking 82 rooms out of the inventory of rooms for Salado, lowering the total inventory to 189 rooms.
Calendar year 2014 was the final full year with Stagecoach Inn motel contributing to the HOT funds. That year, taxable occupancy receipts totaled $2.88 million.
Salado Village Voice compiled a 10-year history of hotel occupancy receipts for Salado.