Chairwoman Lindsai Gentry encouraged other board members to take a fresh look at how the Development Authority of Burke County can get their greatest “bank for the buck” during the annual Red Carpet Masters-related marketing event. The Rock Fore! Dough concert is off the table for next year. Invoices from 2018 show the DABC paid $3,500 for Rock Fore Dough Benefit Concert tickets. In 2019, tickets for the same concert cost the department $4,000. However, that is just a small dent in the $45,000-a-year event that has never resulted in a business relocating to Burke County. “The major items are the (Masters) tickets, the house and the food and hospitality costs,” said Gentry during the May 23 monthly meeting. According to public records, the DABC dished out $12,375 in 2018, to accommodate their invitees in a 5-bedroom house on Wheeler Road in Augusta. In 2019, a 6-bedroom house was rented on Wheeler Road for $13,000. In 2020, the department rented a house on Ravenel Road in Augusta for $18,000 to accommodate their guests from April 5-12. The cost of supplying the guests with beverages typically ranges from $500 to $700 and includes beer, wine, mixers and distilled spirits.
The County is requiring their departments submit initial budgets for the next fiscal year by May 31, 2023. Gentry suggested the DABC panel submit a tentative budget amount while talks continue. She also said the board will look more into the possibility of housing guests locally and providing them with a tour of the county.
“We will weigh it in for sure,” she said.
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