City discusses creation of HOT fund committee
The Lockhart City Council on Thursday again tabled action that would have created a committee charged with determining how to disperse Hotel Occupancy Tax funds, or HOT funds.
HOT funds are typically dispersed by cities to organizations or events that result in increased stays in hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts located within city limits.
Councilmembers ultimately opted to decide on the creation of the committee at a further date.
In the past, the Lockhart City Council has dispersed these funds in lump sums at the beginning of the year, but officials are now looking at options that would include the formation of a committee that would review individual applications from organizations running specific events.
According to Lockhart Mayor Lew White the application form the committee and council would formulate would set the parameters used to determine how funds are dispersed.
White noted those parameters might include whether any caps in funding would exist for a given event and whether or not to require post-event follow-up sessions aimed at determining whether organizations met the stipulations they laid out in their applications.
White suggested the committee could consist of an odd number of members that could include one representative from the hotel industry in Lockhart, the city manager or his designee, an ex-council member, and two individuals with as few ties as possible to any of the organizations that would be applying for the money.
“If someone is on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce, or the Hispanic Chamber or the [Gaslight] Baker Theatre, I think that would enough to disqualify them from serving on the committee,” said White.
Lockhart Finance Director Pam Larison attempted to quell any fears that the formation of a committee would preclude organizations that previously received HOT funds from getting future funding.
To read more, see this week’s edition of the Post-Register