City, tourism to negotiate new contractThe Jamestown City Council and Buffalo City Tourism Foundation will negotiate a new contract. The decision occurred Monday at a special City Council budget meeting dealing with the 2013 budget for the Jamestown convention and promotion fund.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown City Council and Buffalo City Tourism Foundation will negotiate a new contract.
The decision occurred Monday at a special City Council budget meeting dealing with the 2013 budget for the Jamestown convention and promotion fund.
“This is a good step towards being able to budget more effectively,” said Mayor Katie Andersen. “We want to include tourism’s participation in the Civic Center. I don’t want the Civic Center left out of tourism.”
Under the current contract, expiring at the end of 2012, BCTF receives 100 percent of the lodging tax and 40 percent of the restaurant tax generated in Jamestown. The new contract will establish an annual payment to BCTF with the ability to apply for additional funds based on need. The term of the contract, funding amount and other details will be negotiated before the October Finance and Legal Committee hearing scheduled for Oct. 23.
The expense budget for BCTF for 2013 is $261,000. Its projected share of the taxes was $308,000. The savings might be used to cover expenses for updates to the Civic Center, Andersen said.
“There is nothing wrong with change,” said Nina Sneider, BCTF executive director. “The Civic Center needs a shot in the arm.”
Planned updates at the Civic Center total about $600,000. The biggest expense at $500,000 is to replace all the seating on the upper concourses of the arena. Other projects include some changes to the electrical system and repairs to the steps on the west side of the building.
“Some of that seating was bought used years ago,” said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator. “It all needs replacing.”
The City Council approved a budget line item for a $300,000 transfer from the reserves of the convention and promotion fund to the city public building fund. Remaining costs for Civic Center updates will be paid from city building funds.
Sneider said the new contract will allow BCTF to begin arranging advertising for next summer’s tourist season.
“I’m glad the door is open to talk to the council on this,” she said. “They showed that the support is there for tourism.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knor firstname.lastname@example.org