Commission approves Gray’s contract

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission met for a special session Tuesday morning to approve Serena Gray’s contract to continue serving as Executive Director of the board for the next year. 

“Working for the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission has been an honor and privilege for the past four years. Since beginning my role as executive director in 2018, we have been able to accomplish many goals. A few I am most proud of include strengthening our brand, increasing our visibility as an outdoor recreation destination, establishing the paddle trail, and investing more dollars through our local grant program,” said Gray. “With more opportunities on the horizon for tourism, I am filled with anticipation to continue to lead this organization and look forward to more collaborations and partnerships that will strengthen our community.” 

The board also approved the amended budget for the year 2022 to reflect the expenses for Miller Quarters. Adding the $500,500 for the new park brought the total expenses for the year to a total of $896,550.23. 

On the topic of budgets, the commission approved the 2023 proposed budget to reflect income coming from state sales tax, local occupancy tax, interest, and grants including the American Rescue Plan. Expenses reflected include marketing/advertising, operational expenses, and grant funds. 

The WPCVC budget shows grant funds being awarded to the Scottish Tartan Festival, Grilling on Main, Main to Main, Burn Run, Springhill Rodeo, Lumberjack Festival and the Sarepta Christmas Festival.  

The phenomenally successful Junior Service League “Girls Night Out” event was approved to be added to the major event grant list for the upcoming year.  

Other expenses on the budget include projects from the American Rescue Plan, such as new billboards, KTBS Caravan, promotions for Christmas and purchasing/installation of the new kayak docks that will be located on Bayou Dorcheat at the Sibley and Dixie Inn launches.  

Before adjournment Commissioner and mayor-elect Nick Cox announced his resignation from the tourism board. The WPCVC will be in talks with Police Jury President Jim Bonsall in the coming weeks to discuss his replacement.  

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