GRAYSON – The Grayson Tourism Commission had to again address the issue of unpaid hotel taxes during its regular meeting last week.

The commission had previously discussed placing liens on the properties with outstanding taxes, but put those plans on hold while it appeared the owner of the three hotels was working to get caught up.

After granting the extra time, however, the management of the Super 8 has been the only entity to pay their taxes. Taxes on the other two properties, the Econo Lodge and the Quality Inn, still haven't been paid.

The tax dollars have been collected on each room sold, but the funds have not been remitted to the city as required by law. Management of the three hotels have been trying to get the owner, who lives outside the area, to release funds to pay those taxes according to commission member Dustin Howard, but the management of Super 8 has been the only group successful so far.

Tourism employee Maggie Duncan said if the ownership of the hotels has been collecting the tax as required, there shouldn't be an issue with paying the taxes. If, however, they have been collecting those taxes from guests and then using that money as part of their operating expenses, instead of setting it aside as required, they were in violation of the law.

The commission voted unanimously to proceed with the process of placing liens on the Econo Lodge and Quality Inn properties for failing to pay taxes.

In other action the commission heard a report from the park board on progress at the sports park location. Don Combs, who serves on both the tourism commission and the park board, told tourism that the board has held discussions with the contractors to make sure the fence on the baseball field will extend to 330 feet to meet Little League requirements.

Tourism Commission chair Mindy Woods-Click also noted that the park will be equipped with the required LED lights, from Musco Lighting, with a 25-year guarantee that includes changing out any lights, as necessary.

The commission and board are also looking at options for obtaining artificial turf for at least some of the fields. These options include partnering with another entity to use the fields in exchange for the artificial turf, or raising money for artificial turf through the sale of naming rights for the field.

They are also looking at the possibility of using claycrete, instead of paving, for parking areas.

The board reported that work on the fields is expected to begin within the next 30 days, and that block on the concession building is already being laid. The board has also made an offer on the position of park manager, but the offer has not yet been formally accepted, so they are not yet ready to release any details of who will fill that role.

The commission also discussed plumbing repairs for the tourism cabin, noting that those repairs are expected to be made before winter sets in.

In other action they discussed the regulation of food trucks and whether they needed to collect a restaurant tax as brick and mortar locations do, heard reports on Funtoberfest, discussed the upcoming Hometown Holidays events, discussed the purchase of more security cameras for use at the Tourism Cabin, and noted their audit has been completed and that a report would be forthcoming.

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