A funding cap placed upon a local economic development corporation has been lifted by the Robstown City Council after being in effect for the past two years.
Council members unanimously approved the elimination of a $25,000 funding cap imposed upon the Robstown Area Development Commission in 2009 after issues came to light about a lack of proper record keeping and accountability of funds provided to the organization by local entities.
The city was also unhappy with the RADC’s non-compliance with requests for written quarterly reports, which was another factor that led to the cap being implemented.
Mayor Rodrigo Ramon Jr., who serves on the RADC’s Board of Directors as a representative for the city, said he felt the organization had come a long way since the problems were revealed in an April 2009 audit. Since that time, the commission has worked to improve its record-keeping and other fiscal procedures, and a new part-time director was recently hired to lead the organization.
The RADC had been without an executive director since Ken Faughn stepped down in late 2009. Faughn was singled out by members of the Board of Directors as being ultimately responsible for the issues cited in the 2009 audit, including a failure to file tax returns on behalf of the commission with the Internal Revenue Service over a four-year span.
Ray Hunt, the new executive director, was appointed earlier this year by the RADC Board of Directors to serve on a part-time basis. He thanked the council members on Monday for their vote of confidence in the organization.
“It’s one of the reasons I wanted the (executive director) position,” he said. “Now that we’ve got everything in order, it feels good that they (city council) put their trust in us to do what we need to do, and that’s market Robstown.”
Among the RADC's upcoming events is its annual CottonFest, which will run from Oct. 8-9. The event is a large community festival that is free to the public. This year's event will have live music and a barbecue cook-off.
The RADC is partially funded by the City of Robstown via the city’s Hotel/Motel tax revenue as part of an ordinance and contract adopted in 1988. As part of its requirements, the RADC must provide the Robstown City Council with quarterly financial reports.
In 2008, prior to its funding being capped at $25,000 by the city, the RADC had received $67,577 in Hotel/Motel tax funding.