City records show the community’s lodging tax showed a modest increase over the last fiscal year, but for the last two months the tax is taking a financial hit.
“I have some concerns,” said City Manager Bill Keefer to the Convention and Tourism Board members during at their Aug. 30 meeting.
The receipts for August showed the tax netted the city coffers $9,505.11 for June’s business. This was a 27 percent decrease from the year before, records show.
Keefer said the bright spot is that sales tax receipts are up.
“They (sales tax receipts) are averaging a one to two percent increase,” Keefer said. “It’s nice and steady.”
Keefer said he was not worried about this year.
“Looking at this year as compared to last year we are quite a ways behind year-to-date and two years ago we are behind,” Keefer said.
Keefer reminded the board to be cautious when approving expenditures in fiscal year budget.
“If the trend continues, future budgets will reflect the decrease in revenue,” Keefer said.
Keefer said one of the likely problems is that in the past construction work crews have stayed in motels where now crews are renting mobile homes.
“It’s just a lack of tourists,” said John Wells, board member.
In other business the board approved the design of the rack cards displayed at the Miami Visitors Center.
The two-sided card was earmarked for tourists stopping at the Miami Visitors Center and the board members approved adding the word “gaming” to the card.
The card includes a map directing visitors to Grove and Grand Lake from all directions.
Board President Jim Corbridge suggested sending the cards to the State Tourism Department for distribution.
The board also approved a billboard wrap for a sign located on Interstate 44.
Brent Malone, executive director showed a drawing of the proposed billboard signage that reflects a separate tag line attached and will be used to promote events. The cost for the tag line is $100 and will be paid by the event holders.
The board approved a sponsorship application for $2,500 with Midwest Fish Tournaments for the “Angler in Action Tournament of Champions” to be held November 3 and 4 and with 5Fish Productions for their “Boats with Coats” fishing tournament. The tournament is set for December 8 and 9. Funding is $500 for a minimum of 50 boats, $25 per board for additional boats not to exceed $2,500.
An agreement between the city and the Fishing League Worldwide for a Tour Qualifier Fishing Tournament was also approved.
Keefer addressed the board said he is looking into an annual license with ASCAP, an organization that protects copyrights for music played at local festivals.
Donnie Crain, Grove Area Chamber president and Malone discussed events for the area, including a drag boat “Hall-of-Fame” exhibit, zip lining, a swim beach, motorcycle park between Wolf Creek Park and Grove Springs Park and a bicycle trail connecting Sail Boat Bridge to Har-Ber Village
In financial information, the board has spent $2,334.85 in salaries; $1,619 in contract services, $1,500 to grants to other agencies, $1,390 in marketing and $40 in dues.
Board member Hitesh Patel was absent from the meeting.
The next meeting will take place at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Grove Community Center, Room 5.