Bryan city council invests nearly half a million towards Downtown Bryan Association

Published: Jan. 14, 2020 at 11:33 PM CST
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The staff at Margie's loves Downtown Bryan and everyone who stops in.

"The people that come into Margie's bring me joy with how warming they are and how much they support us," said Justin Wager, the youngest in the family business.

Margie's is seeing even more people come through their doors this week as participants in this year's restaurant week. The promotion is hosted by the Downtown Bryan Association.

"They do a lot. They support us. They let people know about everybody. Everybody gets a fair share," said Wager.

City leaders also see the organization as a benefit. Tuesday the council gave them $490,001, which includes $380,001 in operational funding (inclusive of $324,433 in Hotel Occupancy Tax funds, or "HOT" funds, plus $55,568 in General Fund funds) and $110,000 in additional HOT funds for the 2020 Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival, to be held in late September 2020.

"There's arts, fundraising, marketing. There are lots of things that happen and the Downtown Bryan Association helps and we rely on them for those things," said Mayor Andrew Nelson.

This year, the city used a recent audit on the DBA to see how they're managing their finances.

We spoke with Kay Dobbins, who's a Certified Public Accountant with Thompson, Derrig & Craig, P.C., about why these reports are so important for accountability and efficiency.

"Any organization that gets money from the public, whether that's tax money or donations, they have a responsibility to the public at large and to their funding partners, for instance, the city of Bryan to handle this money in a way that would make their financial information more useful or just more efficient," said Dobbins.

This investment towards DBA means more opportunities for small businesses and restaurants in downtown Bryan just like Margie's.

For more information on the funding agreement, see the related links section.

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