A portion of the proceeds of the 51st annual Arkansas Marathon were given to the Boys & Girls Club of South Logan County and the Booneville Senior Center last week.

For the first time, runners in each of the four races for the marathon were asked a question on their registration paperwork of where they would like $5 of their registration fee to be donated with the Boys & Girls Club and Senior Center being the options, or both.

Last week both organizations were presented checks for $250 which, Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Bulger said was actually more than was collected.

Chamber president Chris Cobb added, however, the additional funds were also derived from the marathon and not from the Chamber’s budget.

The budget took a hit recently when the City Council voted to approve Mayor Jerry Wikins’ suggestion to lower dues paid by the city and, in a second membership, the city’s water department.

The measure approved by the council in September dropped the annual contribution from a combined $12,500 to a combined $6,000 and required, as stipulated by auditors, a service agreement contract.

Chamber officials requested, in a letter submitted to the council in October, the amount the amount paid by the city and the water department since 2001 be reinstated.

The council took no action on the request but the service agreement contract will be renewed in January.

Wilkins said last week whether the funding is restored will be up to the council.

The Chamber is also a four percent benefactor of the city’s one percent sales tax. The tax is on pace to raise about $700,000, which would mean about $28,000 for the Chamber.

City officials recently set a February special election to ask voters to extend the tax for an additional five years. The ordinance to create the election did not change any of the 10 entities’ take in the proceeds of the tax.