By Julia Jones, Correspondent
The finance department proved that a penny saved is a penny earned Tuesday evening when it was presented with its 25th Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Brandon Bozon became the director of finance in 2014 and has continued to receive the award every year. Mayor Marion Grayson praised his hard work and spoke of her expectations when he had first arrived.
“I’m so proud of you, Brandon, because I know when you came here, we said there was a tradition of this and we want to keep getting the award, and you’ve done it,” Mayor Grayson said. “So proud.”
According to the GFOA website, the award system was created to “to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality” and “to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.”
After receiving the award, Bozon proposed funding for a festival committee and a hotel budget, the latter most specifically to fund the new Expo Inn & Suites. These factors will all stimulate and help regulate tourism growth in Belton, according to Bozon.
“This will be a sponsorship of our own events…some multi-day festivals that will occur in Belton with the aim of bringing in people to stay in hotels in Belton,” Bozon said. “They’ll also entertain the people who live here and choose to attend.”
In addition to events meant to bring newcomers into town, the council discussed a smaller event venue owned by Ronnie and Staci Schoepf. Located inside and in the back of Estacia’s, Staci’s home goods store on S Main St., the building is in need of more parking spaces to allow for a small 30-capacity party venue where patrons could hold baby showers or birthday parties. Ronnie stated that although the area isn’t lacking in party spaces, there will be quirks that make this venue different.
“We have a great opportunity there,” he said. “We get those calls all the time for a small venue…This might be for some of those events that are slightly different. We’ll maybe cook some ribeye steaks in the backyard for someone’s birthday party.”
Other highlights from the meeting include the parade committee giving a brief thank-you to all of the departments that contributed to the success of this year’s Fourth of July parade and presenting the mayor with a plaque to commemorate the event. The Parks and Recreation and Library Departments gave updates on what they accomplished last year and what they plan to accomplish this year.