They'll revisit it after the April CVB board meeting.
One of the City Council Ways & Means Committee’s more heavily discussed topics at Monday’s meeting at City Hall was, again, the proposed agreement for the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. The agreement, which is looking for an update since the last contract in 2006, was tabled for a second time in a row after councilmen raised questions about the potential 10 percent raise for the administrative fee paid to the Chamber of Commerce.
Other changes to the proposed agreement included going from two representatives from the City Council to one council member, and adding an additional representative from the community.
At the February 24 Ways & Means Committee meeting, At-Large City Council Member Tom Vedbraaten questioned adding more administrative costs to the CVB’s budget and thought CVB money should be more for advertising and promotions to bring people to town. He reiterated his concerns Monday saying he would like to see the agreement language changed to read “up to 15 percent” instead of “up to 25 percent” especially after looking at the 2020 income on the budget provided. At-Large City Council Member Bobby Baird, who sat on the CVB and Chamber boards until Monday night after Mayor Dale Stainbrook appointed different council members, echoed Vedbraaten’s concerns wondering if the CVB budget is “struggling” now, why would they take more from it.
Ward 1 City Council Member Jake Fee, who sits on the CVB board, also felt, during the February 24 meeting, that a raise in the percentage is “too heavy on administrative costs” and that it would “lose focus” of what the CVB is made for. He, too, reiterated his concerns Monday stating that the CVB will “hurt more” with the percentage raise and doesn’t see any reason to go over 15 percent.
Fee added that he’s had a couple members of the CVB board reach out to him saying they don’t agree with the proposed percentage raise. He also said that the proposed percentage raise had not yet come up for a vote with the CVB board.
Then, Baird brought up the $5,000 previously approved in 2018 by the council for an audit that hasn’t yet happened for the Chamber and CVB, and added that he had a lot of questions including concerns about the 2019 budget the council received after the last Ways & Means Committee meeting.
Vedbraaten made the motion to table the proposed agreement until after the CVB’s next meeting in April and Mayor Stainbrook invited the council members who had questions to attend April’s CVB board meeting.
ONE OR TWO COUNCIL MEMBERS
Earlier in the Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday, Mayor Stainbrook updated his committee appointments for the council members and suggested Dylane Klatt of Ward 6 to fill the proposed spot for a City Council member on the CVB board. Baird voiced that he thought the CVB board should be treated like the Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) board and have two council members, especially with the amount of money in their budget. Fee agreed.
After the CVB agreement discussion, Stainbrook brought up the appointment subject again and the council agreed, with a nod of approval by Chamber/CVB Executive Director Terri Heggie, who was in the audience, that the council should continue to have two members sit on the CVB board. Stainbrook then reappointed Fee and appointed Klatt to the CVB board.