COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood City Council decided to allocate $10,000 in contingency funds to the Old Town Association for 2019 during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The city has $14,000 set aside in contingency funds, according to staff. Council Member Michael Mathews also suggested staff look into whether or not OTA could possibly benefit from the city’s bed tax.
Over the summer, city staff decided not to fund the Old Town Association in the tentative budget as the organization was still in the process of trying to rebuild itself. In May, former OTA treasurer Traci Koelzer fled the city after allegedly embezzling thousands from the OTA bank account, according to Cottonwood police.
OTA has since regrouped and brought Christian Oliva del Rio, President/CEO of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce on as their fiduciary agent. The OTA also elected several new board members including Red Rooster Café owner Jim Ariola to the board as treasurer
At the meeting, Airola told council that OTA has paid off all outstanding debts as well as organize community events like the Chocolate Walk.
“The Chocolate Walk raised about $8,000 for the Old Town Association,” he said. “We’ve adopted new policies to prevent future mishaps similar to what happened in the past.”
Oliva Del del Rio echoed the sentiment.
“Things are moving forward in a positive way,” he said. “They’ve really stepped up.”
OTA Board President Brenda Clouston said the organization now wants to enhance their events by making them more inclusive to the rest of the community.
“We’ve got some really good ideas that we’ve been working on and we want to take those ideas into next year,” she said.
One example, she said, would be putting together a spring event that includes wineries and breweries.
Cottonwood City Council moved to allocate Tribal-State Compact Funds from the Yavapai-Apache Nation toward flashing crosswalk lights and school zone signage on Mingus Avenue.
The funds are a percentage of the tribe’s gaming wins that are meant to be distributed to local municipalities for “government services that benefit the general public, including public safety, mitigation of impacts of gaming, and promotion of commerce and economic development,” according to staff documents.
The city received a total of $17,456.86 for 2018.
For agendas and minutes, visit http://cottonwoodaz.gov/129/Agendas-Minutes. A livestream of the meetings is also available on the Verde Valley TV YouTube channel.