DECORAH -- The Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau will remain the fiscal agent for the city’s hotel-motel tax after a Decorah City Council motion to change the management of the funds narrowly failed.
At a recent council meeting, council member Kirk Johnson made a motion to terminate the arrangement with the WCCVB and return the responsibility to the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce.
In March, following a recommendation by the Council’s economic development and community betterment committee, management of the hotel-motel tax money was switched from the Chamber to WCCVB, which subsequently moved out of the Chamber building, Johnson said.
In the WCCVB’s annual report to the Council last week, WCCVB Board President Dan Meador said the move was an effort to be “fiscally responsible.”
“WCCVB no longer wants to share resources with the chamber and Winneshiek County Development Inc. The hotel/motel tax is a city tax implemented by Decorah voters. I can’t in good conscience continue to support that organization (WCCVB) that won’t continue to share resources with the other organizations,” Johnson said before making his motion to drop the arrangement with WCCVB and to begin negotiations to return management of the funds to the chamber.
His motion to return management of the funds to the chamber failed 4-3 with Johnson, Randy Schissel and Gary Rustad voting in favor and Andy Carlson, Dan Bellrichard, Steve Luse and Chuck Lore voting against.
Meador commented WCCVB, the chamber and WCDI could collaborate without WCCVB being in the chamber building and promised financials would be clear in response to concerns.
“We have the opportunity to be just as great whether we’re in that building or not,” Meador said.