Block Island Times

Tourism council cobbles together a budget for 2021

Trying to put together a budget when revenue streams are still unknown, the members of the Tourism Council passed a budget for the coming fiscal year based on the forecast that projects a precipitous drop in tourism dollars.
From a high of $371,000 in revenue in 2016/17, the budget for 2020/21 projects about $161,000 in revenue, and also includes an expected dip into the council’s reserve account.
The budget, which the Tourism Council passed at its virtual meeting on Tuesday, May 4, was $252,300. With $161,000 expected in revenue, the shortfall is to be made up by the $91,300 from the reserves.
“It’s a crazy time and that’s what reserves are for,” said Tourism Director Jessica Willi. “Reserves are meant to be spent in times of crisis.” The budget anticipates that as much as $90,000 could be spent from the reserves account, which Willi said would be built back up when revenue streams become more reliable.
Council Treasurer Julie Fuller said the budget is “as realistic as it can be at this point.” Referencing the layoffs at other tourism boards in the state, Fuller said “my personal opinion is we need Jess. We

Block Island Times – Read More>>