Tourism funds discussed in Berea City Council meeting

Published on : Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Berea City Council meetingIn the Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Berea City Council, there was a discussion on what Berea Tourism funds can and should be spent on.

Council Member Jerry Little said that Berea Tourism has an estimated budget of $950,000 for this year, and more than $370,000 of that is spent on advertising.

Little said that the funds raised by the 3 percent restaurant tax can be spent on a variety of things, including street and sewer projects, as long as it is helping in advancing tourism. He said that Berea’s advertising budget is about the same as the City of Richmond’s entire tourism budget.

However, Little questioned whether spending all that money on advertising is an effective use of the funds. He said, “Things change over the years. We’ve got social media; people want to see something different.” But what the tourism commission spends its funds on is out of the council’s hands, he added.

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly said there is not a set definition on what constitutes tourism.

“Tourism is what the tourism commission says it is,” the mayor said. “It is broadly defined; it is evolving.”

Berea Tourism Director Kerri Hensley told the council she will send members the tourism commission’s comprehensive plan, and the council members are welcome to the next tourism commission meeting.

Hensley said she believes that people are not receiving information on what the commission is doing, and added that she wants the commission to do a better job getting information to the public.

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