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Grand Wayne board OKs 2013 budget

Planned $5 million is 5% more than expected revenue

– The Grand Wayne Center’s board on Tuesday approved a $5 million budget for the convention center for 2013.

The $4,961,593 in spending planned for next year is 5 percent more than the $4,713,000 expected in revenue, but the difference will be made up from cash reserves, which are currently about $4.1 million.

In addition to rental fees, Grand Wayne Center revenue includes hotel taxes, sales taxes on food and beverages, and the Professional Sports and Convention Development Areas tax. Most of those revenue streams have held steady in recent years, but there has been a 9 percent increase in hotel tax revenue, which officials attributed to a slowly growing economy and several large events this summer.

Most of the convention center’s budget goes to operating expenses, but about 30 percent goes to costs such as lease payments on the building, bond payments, and $250,000 a year toward the hotel and parking garage at Harrison Square. The budget calls for operating expenses to remain flat compared with what was budgeted for 2012.

In other business, the board approved the 2013 budget for the Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board of Managers, which oversees use of the food and beverage tax.

The budget calls for making $1 million in disbursements next year toward economic development projects and spending $100,000 on administration, the same as in 2012. The board expects $3 million in tax revenue, but state law restricts how – and when – that revenue can be used.

Board members voted unanimously to approve both budgets. The Fort Wayne City Council is expected to consider them next week and Allen County Council next month.

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