Convention center panel honors alderwoman

Retiring Alderwoman Irene Holcomb concluded a 12-year assignment with the advertising and tourist promotion commission Wednesday afternoon and was saluted with an appreciation plaque.

She also took part in her final regular Pine Bluff City Council meeting Monday night.

Pine Bluff Convention Center Executive Director Bob Purvis made the presentation in a joint meeting of the A&P commission and civic auditorium complex commission. Purvis called the occasion of Holcomb’s last meeting “sad,” but said he and her fellow panelists had been “fortunate” to have been able to work closely with her since 2000.

Purvis praised her for her service and “sense of humor.” He and the commissioners gave Holcomb a standing ovation.

“Have I been here 12 years?” Holcomb asked joking.

Commissioner Frank Anthony told her, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Holcomb laughingly agreed and said, “This has been a good group to work with.”

During a business session, the advertising and tourist promotion panel unanimously approved a $1,516,372 budget for 2013. The budget included projections of $1.55 million in sales tax income, $235,000 in sales and marketing expenses, $235,000 for personnel, $100,000 for inducements, $50,000 for marketing partners, and $896,372 for convention center operations. Total expenses were projected at $1,020,872.

The total budget was up from 2012’s by just $2,500, which was represented in catering revenues that increased from $3,500 to $6,000.

Purvis told commissioners, “We’re going to be in the black for 2012 — not by much, but we are in the black.”