Meeting on March 27, 2006 at the Recreation Center, Treasurer Pam Alexander released last year’s profitable numbers. With expenses of $42,020.84 and income of $51,576.63, the festival posted a $9555.79 profit.
Projections for this year’s budget were nowhere nearly as promising. “We have had fewer sponsorships this year, and those who have sponsored the event have done less than they have in the past. We’ll be trimming a lot of the fat this year.”
Alexander says she currently has about $3000 in sponsorships, compared to this time last year when she had possibly double that amount.
The current budget for the Ham Festival in 2006 has been set to cover $33,500 in expenses. Projected income is anticipated to be at the same amount, forecasting a break-even year.
Some expenses, such as advertising have increased slightly, from last year’s $720 to a budgeted figure of $900. Other figures, on the printed and ratified budget show much greater expenses, such as decorations, which showed a zero cost last year, to $500 this time out. Electricity reflected the largest jump, going from $166.21 last year to $1500 for the upcoming festival.
Decorations were re-used from the 2004 Ham Festival, and Alexander said they needed to be replaced at this point. The main jump in electricity costs was the need to replace a large $1200 junction box to provide vendors with the current needed to operate their cooking and heating equipment. The existing box needs replacement, a cost incurred roughly every two years.
The committee hoped some of their funds would be matched by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which due to budget shortfalls, only provided $828 last year. With the state’s books more solvent, the committee hoped for $2000 or more this year.
Other expenses are being examined for paring. Alexander said that removing one bus from last year’s three bus fleet could save as much as $200 per day to shuttle visitors to and from the festival.
She hoped the decoration budget could be trimmed as well, with businesses donating helium tanks, and possibly some other decorations. She hoped that those expenses would come in under budget, at possibly $300.
Her main fear was the overall economic uncertainty facing the nation. “We have vendors coming in and renting booths from as far away as Florida. If gas prices are high, like at the end of last summer, we may not have as many coming as we hope. I’m worried about visitors coming to the festival, too.”
The committee looked at different sources of fundraising, such as the sale of a commemorative Christmas ornament, and streamlining t-shirt sales for greater profitability.
A suggestion from a local citizen for a beauty pageant was rejected due to budget constraints, lack of sponsorship, and no committee members or other willing volunteers with enough free time to organize such an event.