02/08/11 — City to give base $75K for air show

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City to give base $75K for air show

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 8, 2011 1:46 PM

The city of Goldsboro is getting into the air show business -- to the tune of $75,000.

"We have been asked to help with securing some of the entertainment and marketing expenses," Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan told members of the City Council at their pre-meeting work session.

More specifically, the money would be used to pay for billboards, advertisements and the costs associated with bringing in country music's Aaron Tippin.

But the city government is not the only entity footing some of the bill. In fact, Ms. Logan said the county agreed to contribute $25,000 to the cause and $50,000 of what the City Council agreed to allocate from its general fund will actually be paid, in the long run, by Travel and Tourism's coffers -- if the city did not front them $50,000 now, it would leave Travel and Tourism with a fund balance that "really wouldn't be in their best interest," Ms. Logan said.

"Some of that we do have budgeted in Travel and Tourism's budget, but the cost for the entertainment will be upwards of $100,000," she said. "The issue that we have is that we're in the middle of budget and actually funding this event now is what we've had to work out."

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen said the city has never made such a substantial contribution to Wings Over Wayne.

"Never like that," he said.

But if doing so helps Seymour Johnson Air Force Base achieve its goal of bringing some 300,000 people through its gates April 16-17, the end result, he, Ms. Logan and Mayor Al King agreed, would be good for the city, county and its residents.

"They are really excited about (the air show)," King said. "This is something they feel very strongly about. They want to make this the best air show that we've ever seen in eastern North Carolina. They are going all out."

Base officials confirmed in December that several acts had signed on to headline the show -- the Air Force Thunderbirds, Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and Tippin.

More than 70,000 people were in attendance the last time the Thunderbirds took to Wayne County skies -- a crowd that left a tremendous economic footprint on Goldsboro and surrounding areas -- but unlike the 2006 air show, the 2011 edition of Wings Over Wayne will last all weekend.