Saturday, July 20, 2024

Lanark County supports Smiths Falls tourism partnership

The Town of Smiths Falls has a new agreement with Lanark County to promote tourism, at a cost of $5,000 annually. – Laurie Weir photo

New information presented to Lanark County council regarding a proposed tourism partnership with the Town of Smiths Falls saw a favourable vote from members.

The partnership approval means Smiths Falls will pay the county $5,000 for participating in some aspects of the county’s regional tourism marketing over the next year.

The county has an annual levy of $226,000 for tourism, and having Smiths Falls pay just $5,000 didn’t sit well with some councillors at their last meeting.

During a regular meeting of Lanark County council on March 13, Coun. Toby Randell, (Carleton Place mayor), said new information shared by chief administrative officer Kurt Greaves gave him the confidence to vote in favour of the bylaw supporting the Smiths Falls agreement.

“There are a bunch of items that Smiths Falls doesn’t participate in at all,” Greaves said. “Such as the municipal tourism grants for $40,000, there’s some signage and different things. We just went through and pulled those couple items where Smiths Falls would be participating.”

Staff time at eight hours a month is about $3,000, along with the visitor map and website recognition totals about $5,400, Greaves said, or “in the ballpark.”

The CAO said there are “a lot of things in the tourism budget where Smiths Falls wouldn’t participate. I know council had some questions last time, that I don’t think we fully answered. But this was just to give us some context. We will be coming back at budget time to give a more detailed analysis of the time spent.”

Randell said he thinks it is “beneficial to the county to have Smiths Falls as part of our tourism. I think that it should be beneficial both ways and I think that it is. I wanted it to be equitable in that whatever money is being given is the service that is being provided just like any other participating member of the county.”

Randell added, “Unfortunately we didn’t have this information and we saw the split vote that we had the last meeting. I think that this new information helps us understand why they came up with that information and it satisfies me, thank you.”

The bylaw to enter into a year-long agreement with Smiths Falls for regional marketing services was unanimously approved by council.

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