Madisonville city council works to dig up restaurant tax funds deficit

Madisonville city council works to dig up restaurant tax funds deficit

MADISONVILLE, KY (WFIE) - Madisonville city council is working to fix a major budget problem.

We’re told the previous administration spent more in six months than the entire year’s budget. That money was coming from restaurant tax revenues.

Now, the council must find the funds to move forward with planned events.

On Monday, Madisonville city council heard the first reading of a budget amendment related to the restaurant tax, an account that sits over budget.

“It’s really shock, we knew there was a lot of spending last year,” Newly elected Mayor Kevin Cotton said.

Mayor Cotton says the budget plan this fiscal year was $1.5 million. As of December 31st, only six months in, the city had spent $1.7 million.

Big ticket capital projects include improvements at Mahr Park, plus the mini-golf course. Events also play a major role, like Friday Night Live summer series and others.

Mayor Cotton tells 14 News the budget plan for events for the entire year was $351,000. He explained the previous administration spent $473,000.

“In the last 18 months, Madisonville spent $1.2 in concerts and events alone,” Cotton calculated.

Under Cotton’s administration, he says they’re wanting to invest in tangible assets including year-round family attractions.

The city plans to amend the budget by $550,000. This would pay off the debt, allow them continuing planning summer concerts and invest in park infrastructure, such as in Festus Claybon Park.

“We have pro football team here that is traveling to Evansville, Clarksville, Elizabethtown, that’s where they’re playing. What we want—is we want to be the middle of the road guy and have a football field they can play on here,” Cotton said.

A neighbor agrees the improvements are needed.

“The ground is so rough, it sinks. They’re falling down and carrying on,” John Wade Mackey, who lives nearby, said.

Those renovations are set to be done by summer.

The budget amendment will be up for vote during the second reading in their next city council meeting. About $300,000 will be pulled from a savings account for tourism funding.

They’ll also have access to funds moving forward between now and July 1.

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