Convention and Vistors Bureau Director Larry Lee presents the CVB annual report at the Van Wert City Council meeting Wednesday night. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
VAN WERT - In one the Van Wert City Council session on Wednesday, Mayor Don Farmer introduced the idea of an aquatic center in Van Wert. Farmer has now received feasibility studies to present to council members for review. Funds for the possible addition are currently being raised privately, as Farmer stated he will not have the city liable for any additional debt.A meeting to discuss the issue has been set for Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Farmer said he is hopeful that the aquatic center proposal can be added to the May 7 ballot for public approval.
City Auditor Martha Balyeat gave council members their homework for Thursday's Finance Committee meeting, which is slated for 6 p.m. Balyeat proposed that the temporary budget not be approved until a financial plan be put in place. While the issue had many members worked up in the Wednesday night meeting, the real discussion will take place in tonight's session.
Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Larry Lee and Seth Baker presented the CVB annual report. Data compiled from Tourism Economics showed $35 million in sales through tourism in 2011. Northwest Ohio accounted for 13 percent of tourism income in the state of Ohio, and $5 million in taxes were generated from tourism in 2011.
Lee and Baker stressed the huge importance of tourism for jobs and in boosting local economy. Farmer also reported that the city received $8,000 less this October compared to the previous year on the lowered hotel/motel tax.
At the end of the month, revenues stood at $4.6 million, which exceeded expenses which stood at $4.3 million.
Streets and Alleys Committee Chair Pete Weir reported that several people have shown concern over speed limits being raised on Walnut St. Other than these few, Weir has seen overwhelmingly positive output on the proposed speed limit changes.
Two committee meetings have been set for Nov. 26. A committee meeting concerning 2013 water and sewer rates has been set for 7 p.m. with a railroad site advertising meeting at 6:45. Poggemeyer Design Group has shown they are ready to start taking bids and would like to begin advertising by Nov. 27.
Final inspection of the water tower is underway. Once this is completed, the tower will be disinfected and hopefully reinstated by Thanksgiving. Traffic on Wall St. may be shut off this weekend to tear up the railroad track. That work will hopefully be completed by next week.