PBA approves convention center marketing contract

Apr. 19, 2013 @ 11:58 PM

At its meeting this week, the Sevierville Public Building Authority approved a one-year marketing agreement with Ackermann PR for the Sevierville Convention Center.

During the meeting, there was a minor controversy over the type of contract and the amount. The original contract was not a request for proposal. Rather, it was for a professional service and was in the amount of $11,500.

PBA Attorney Ed Owens said he didn't believe a public relations firm constituted a professional service as defined by statutes of other entities, and therefore would require an RFP.

On the other hand, he noted, the contract could be reduced to less than $10,000 and not require an RFP, even if the firm was not considered a professional service.

"If the contract were for less than $10,000, the PBA gives you the authority to dispense of the competitive bidding or things like that," Owens said.

Ackermann PR President Cathy Ackermann said the firm would accept a contract of $9,999.

"It would be better from our standpoint to price it under that $10,000 mark than to go through an RFP process," Ackermann said.

A motion was made to table the item until next month's meeting, but the motion was not seconded.

PBA Vice Chair John McClure then made a motion to approve the agreement for $9,999. Board member George Seaton seconded the motion, and it passed.

Board member Brenda McCroskey asked what to do for the next contract proposal, noting that the PR firm would likely want to stay on with the project after the initial contract expired. "And the next contract would "probably be more than $9,999," McCroskey said.

Ackermann said she could provide more information to the board to help them decide whether to pursue an RFP for the next proposal.

The board also approved:

  • A Sevierville Golf Club Bermuda Fertilizer Bid to Harrell's, the lowest qualified bidder, for $25,558
  • A $30,000 budget to resurface portions of Old Douglas Dam Road due to deteriorating surface related to water line project in 2009
  • $86,472.63 for the purchase of new merchandise from various vendors for golf club house

rhargett@themountainpress.com