Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board Approves Incorporation

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Some board members said it’s a money grab, while others contended it’s a way to protect the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism board from lawsuits.

At the heart of a proposed bill, elected officials in Lauderdale County have said there needs to be accountability in where lodging tax revenue’s are spent.

At times the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism board meeting on Wednesday afternoon got heated.

But after the back and forth discussion’s, members voted 3-to-1 to approve a proposed bill that will incorporate the board by an act of the Alabama legislature.

“I don’t feel like it was necessary. We have been very successful for 20-years. I am firm believer that if something is not broke don’t fix it,” stated member Earnest Haygood.

Board member Kelly Kelley saw Wednesday’s passing of the bill differently.

She said the board will continue to operate as they always have, but the agency will take on a legal formation when they incorporate, much like a business.

“For me it was extremely important to get this done for liability reasons, for operational reasons, and ability to conduct business and to do the things we need to do as a board,” Kelley explained.

As the bill is written, the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism board will remain as a five member entity, with an equal number of appointees representing the city and county.

The proposed bill will now move to the Florence City Council and Lauderdale County Commission for approval before being sent to Montgomery.