FVA to reject BCTF offerAlthough an official vote will be taken Monday, members of the Frontier Village Association have indicated to the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation that they were not in favor of the funding compromise offered by the BCTF Thursday.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Although an official vote will be taken Monday, members of the Frontier Village Association have indicated to the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation that they were not in favor of the funding compromise offered by the BCTF Thursday.
“We’ve made our offer and they’ve declined it, so there’s not much else we can do,” said Alden Kollman, president-elect of the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation.
Recent conflict between the two organizations has centered on the manager’s position at Frontier Village, which is currently held by Tina Busche. On April 20, BCTF voted not to fund the position, citing lack of confidence in the FVA and concerns about the manager.
The BCTF returned to the FVA Thursday with a compromise proposal that would have funded the position for four months rather than the requested eight, although the FVA was told it could request more funding for the position at a later time.
The FVA took no formal action at its meeting, but about an hour and a half later, its president, Charlie Tanata, told BCTF Executive Director Nina Sneider that the FVA was rejecting the BCTF offer.
“What happened is that I asked everybody before they left … what they would go for,” said Charlie Tanata, president of the Frontier Village Association. “And they said ‘Well, we haven’t got any money to pay (Busche), so we need to have the money to pay her.’”
The rejection of the compromise will remain unofficial, however, until more discussion and an official vote can occur at Monday’s meeting, Tanata said in an interview Friday.
The Frontier Village Association will meet at 1 p.m. Monday at Frontier Fort.
If the compromise offered by the BCTF is officially rejected, the matter could be decided by the Jamestown City Council at its special meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall — if the City Council has the authority to make that decision, which has also been questioned.
Grant funds from the BCTF make up the majority of the FVA’s budget, and must be requested annually for specific purposes, such as amphitheater entertainment, staffing and horse care.
The grant funds come with certain requirements, including documentation of expenditures and provision of attendance counts — requirements that the BCTF has stated the FVA has not fulfilled in the past.
In April the BCTF also examined a forensic accounting report on the FVA, which highlighted some areas needing improvement, such as the FVA’s lack of a computerized accounting system.
The FVA has since purchased a computerized accounting system, which could potentially help the FVA comply with some BCTF requirements.
The BCTF’s list of “Frontier Village Non-Compliance Issues” includes bills being submitted more than once and therefore requiring the money to be reimbursed back to the BCTF, payments made in cash, overspending on staffing grants and neglecting to count cars in the amphitheater parking lot.
At a meeting of the city’s Finance and Legal Committee on April 25, Tanata asked the committee to restore funding for the manager position. Committee members weren’t sure whether they had the authority to act, and the city attorney was requested to look into the matter.
At a prior meeting of the Finance and Legal Committee in January, the committee declined to act on a BCTF vote of no confidence in the FVA, stating then that it did not have the authority.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email