By Ann Marie Shambaugh
When Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb recently spent a day in Zionsville, town officials didn’t have anything to give him to help remember his visit.
That could change by the next time he – or any other dignitary – makes a visit.
The Zionsville Town Council on March 6 held the first reading of an ordinance that would establish a dedicated fund to cover the cost of promotional items, commemorative plaques, ribbon cutting supplies and other expenses incurred in economic or industrial development marketing.
Clerk-Treasurer Amy Lacy said the fund allows for transparency in tracking expenditures of this nature. It could also be used to collect payment if the town decides to sell any of the promotional items, such as mugs or tote bags. Deputy Mayor Ed Mitro said the town could consider selling them at a kiosk in the new town hall building, although it’s just an idea at this point.
Officials are asking for $5,000 to open the fund, but they do not expect to be requesting that amount in future years.
“It will never pay for itself entirely, because we’ll be giving away some stuff, so there will be a small amount budgeted every year to supplement,” Mitro said.
He also said that it’s hard to gauge public demand to purchase these items this early in the process.
“We’re going to have to see how it works, how it goes,” Mitro said. “There’s no way to estimate what kind of business will be generated from this. If it doesn’t work, and we’re not selling anything, we’ll drop the amount and just have (the fund) to give away things.”
Town attorney Heather Willey said that many municipalities – including those smaller than Zionsville – have a fund for promotional items and that Zionsville is one of the few she is aware of that doesn’t have one.
The council will vote on the ordinance at a future meeting. Its next scheduled meeting is 7:30 a.m. March 20.