April 2, 2024
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Grand jury says $500k under-reported in Lompoc tourism pact

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Annual reporting by Visit Lompoc LLC shows hundreds of thousands of dollars in unaccounted-for funds, according to a Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report.

Released March 22, the report says that over the first five years of the current agreement between Visit Lompoc and the City of Lompoc, the cumulative value of those under-reported funds is more than $500,000.

This value has been verified by the grand jury, Lompoc, and Visit Lompoc’s financial services firm, the report says.

“There has been a consistent lack of oversight by Lompoc,” according to the report.

“Additionally, Visit Lompoc LLC has failed to follow through on a commitment to submit to an independent financial audit,” the report says.

Currently, there is $800,000 that was previously transferred to money market accounts that, while earning a higher level of interest, are not accounted for in the required annual reports submitted to and approved by the Lompoc City Council, the grand jury report says.

Per California statute, this money can only be spent on tourism enhancement projects and cannot be used for general purposes, according to the grand jury.

“Additional oversight by Lompoc, in conjunction with Visit Lompoc LLC, is needed to optimize the intent of the management agreement between these entities,” the grand jury report says.

email: mharris@pacbiztimes.com