Downtown Amarillo Inc. not losing funding from city

Downtown Amarillo Inc. not losing funding from city
*News- Amarillo City Hall 2013
*News- Amarillo City Hall 2013

Amarillo, TX -  City council members are setting the record straight about what happened at last night's city council meeting.

It seemed like major news...the City of Amarillo was cutting funds for Downtown Amarillo incorporated, or DAI. But officials tell us that is far from the truth.

Last week was the deadline for DAI to present a strategic action plan to city council. The organization did not meet that deadline.

However the council agreed at last night's meeting to extend it until this morning. DAI did meet that deadline and submitted their plans.

"There was a revision to the specific tasks that the DAI was asked to be able to complete that required them to go back to their drawing board," says Councilman Elisha Demerson.

But no funds were ever decided to be cut.

"While we would have liked to have it ready yesterday, because of the holidays and we skipped a meeting in that time period, it wasn't quite finished as I understand it. We really didn't discuss it. We didn't defund anything, we just didn't extend that at this point. But we did leave in the budget process the money to fund them the rest of the year, should we see fit. So we will discover in this next 7 days and we will define the things that they're able to do and things we want them to do," says Mayor Harpole.

Now that DAI has everything in, the council will decide in the next week exactly how much funding they will provide for the 2016 year. But one thing is for sure...the partnership between the city and DAI is crucial.

"60% of our sales tax revenue last year came from people from outside the city limits of Amarillo, so we do attract on a regional basis and we just want to see that keep growing. And DAI has been part of that," says Harpole.

"The story that was told today was premature. We've got a lot of great support. We've done some good work. And we'll be excited to get through this process over the next week and just continue to do the great work that we want to do for the citizens of Amarillo," says DAI Chairman John Lutz.

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