Council discusses tourism committee budget for city

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While no decision was made Tuesday evening, the Washington City Council got a jump on the budgeting process Tuesday evening when Washington Tourism Committee director Michelle Redlinger made the committee?s request for funding for the coming year.

Redlinger said the committee was asking for the same amount of funding it had during the previous year, but asked that the council fund the committee for the same amount over the next three years. She said that in knowing how much the city would contribute to the committee designated to promote Washington, the easier it would be to plan future events. The presentation was given instead of a budget presentation. City administrator Brent Hinson said there would still be discussion on the request during the third budgeting workshop.

?The financial report that I included does not include anything that could be chamber-related,? Redlinger said.

Redlinger also pointed out several accomplishments the committee had made over the last year. She passes out a copy of a magazine promoting washington to the council members, saying it had been distributed around the state and was a top 3 publication in the Midwest. Redlinger stressed that everything in the magazine was done locally.

She also pointed out the passage of the hotel/motel tax in Washington County after two failed attempts. Additional money being raised by the tax for the promotion of Washington was not discussed as part of the funding for the coming year. A committee is being formed to determine how funds from the tax will be distributed.

Redlinger also said that the committee collaborated with class reunions, with many joining the Summer Classic the first week in June. She also said there had been many conferences and workshops in the county that the tourism committee had brought in. She also said there had been some new promotional projects, including signs along Highway 92. Redlinger also said there is promotional material in all the new cabins at Lake Darling.

?I think it is money well spent and I appreciate the creativity that you show,? council member Millie Youngquist said.

Council member Jaron Rosien also commented that the committee had done a wonderful job promoting the area and that he was impressed the committee is asking for a three-year commitment instead of additional funding.

Budgeting workshops will begin in January for the FY2018 budget.