Center back in red, amid spring-summer slowdown

The seasonal slowdown in tourism across Anna Maria Island that typically comes after the Easter holiday also arrived at the Center of Anna Maria Island, bringing the center back to a net loss for the fiscal year.

Board members met May 21 to evaluate April’s finances and share updates and developments.

Board treasurer Christine Hicks said the center’s net income for the fiscal year is $14,635 in the red. She said the center experienced a net loss of $25,000 in April, although total expenses remain 8 percent under budget for the month.

The fiscal year runs July-June.

Board members blamed a drop in donor activity for the revenue gap.

Executive director Chris Culhane, appointed to the position May 4, said at this point last year, the center had received contributions from the three island cities. This year, he said, the center is still waiting on municipal funding.

Hicks said the center anticipates finishing the fiscal year, which ends June 30, with a net income of $330.

Not mentioned, $100,000 from Manatee County beach concession revenue, is earmarked for infrastructure improvements, including roof repairs.

Culhane also said despite the slowdown, registration is going well for the center’s summer camp program, with new families from the northwest Bradenton area signing up to attend.

In other business, board chair David Zaccagnino said several new board members would be considered at the June meeting.

There are currently seven board members, although guidelines recommend a minimum of 11. Zaccagnino said Emma String resigned from the board in May, citing a time commitment issue.

Also, board member Mike Thrasher proposed changing the center’s facade.

He said his research concluded the face of the building is uninviting. He announced a variance was requested from the city of Anna Maria to construct awnings for the front wall at the main entry to the building to create a shaded gathering area.

Thrasher said an installation similar to the sail shades in City Pier Park could provide shade and an event location for the entry.

The variance request is on the agenda for city planners at their meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, and on the city commission agenda for consideration at the 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, meeting.

Finally, board member Karen Harllee reviewed event planning for 2018-19.

In addition to the annual murder mystery dinner, golf tournament and tour of homes, Harllee said the center would plan a fashion show.

She said the planned range of events is more varied to “hit every single age group and background,” including the possible addition of a running club.

The next board meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, June 25, at the center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.