No vote on TPA

The Warren County Commissioners have asked all county municipalities for approval to appoint the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry as the county’s Tourism Promotion Agency.

But to get Sugar Grove Borough’s answer, the commissioners are going to have to wait.

“Personally, I don’t have enough information,” Councilman Kevin Nicklas said during council’s meeting Monday night.

At their September meeting, the commissioners elected to name the WCCBI the county’s TPA instead of the Warren County Visitors Bureau. Sugar Grove Borough was sent letters from both the commissioners, urging approval, and the WCVB, asking council not to approve the resolution.

Before the new TPA designation can be official, a sufficient number of municipalities representing over 50 percent of the county’s population must approve the switch.

While Councilman Gregory Wilson acknowledged that “in a county of 40,000” there is “efficiency in one organization.” However, he said, “Which organization that is going to be, I don’t have that much information.”

“You kind of feel bad for the people that are losing it,” Councilman Pete Allenson said. “(It) sounds like the WCCBI will be a lot more efficient.”

He noted that the WCVB has “huge overhead” which WCCBI likely will not have.

Wilson disagreed, noting that the WCCBI’s “intent is to take over the property” and any associated debt. “It’s still going to cost” salaries, he noted.

“They (WCCBI) have staff already and they do some of this stuff already,” Allenson said. “We’re 1.5 percent of the county’s population. (I) don’t know if we’re going to swing it or not.”

“We have not expended funds on tourism promotion,” Wilson said. “In that scenario, we have no real experience” with the entities involved.

Mayor Dutch Strand said that he had “heard complaints” of the WCVB.

“They don’t have it open on the weekend. I agree with you on that,” Wilson added.

Nicklas noted that there is no action plan outlining what the WCCBI might do in the future if approved as the TPA.

“I thought they, or at least one of them, was going to be here tonight,” Strand said of the commissioners.

Council unanimously elected to table the issue until its November meeting.