Promoting City of Fort Dodge is more difficult in pandemic
Kuiper: Agency predicts a 13% drop in revenue
The COVID-19 pandemic is weighing down the proposed budget of the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The bureau, which is tasked with promoting Fort Dodge and Webster County as a great place to visit, is funded by the city’s hotel-motel tax. That’s a 7 percent levy added to lodging bills in the city, and three-sevenths of the revenue from it funds the bureau. The rest goes to parks improvements, equipment for the police and fire departments and city costs for special events.
But with the pandemic keeping everyone home, there is going to be less revenue from that tax.
The proposed CVB budget submitted to the Fort Dodge City Council Monday anticipates revenue for the agency dropping by 13 percent for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“We hope to see those numbers improve drastically,” Kerrie Kuiper, the executive director of the bureau, told the council.
The proposed budget for the bureau for 2021-2022 is $228,900.
That’s down from the current $259,214.
Kuiper said the proposed budget reduces spending for trade shows, special projects, dues and memberships, and convention and conference marketing.
However, it does increase spending on advertising to $28,400. That’s up from the current $20,000.
“In times like this, it doesn’t do any good to quit marketing the destination,” Kuiper said.
The proposed budget for the library is $818,866.
That’s up from the current $769,000.
While personnel remains the biggest library expense, the proposed budget includes an extra $1,000 to pay for cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
The city budget essentially pays for operating the library facility. All books, magazines, DVDs and other materials are paid for by the Fort Dodge Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library.
The museum’s budget is expected to increase by $2,000, from $235,200 to $237,200. Personnel and security system costs account for the increase.
Museum Director Eric Anderson said he is seeking a grant to help pay for new flooring in the east and west galleries, and to repair the exterior brick walls.
Karl L. King
The band’s budget will remain unchanged at $38,000.