During the County Commissioners meeting on December 4th, President of the County Council Jesse Bohannon spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Bohannon questioned County Attorney Jim Clevenger as to why he had a meeting with the County Council’s attorney and the Regional Sewer District’s Attorney.  Mr. Clevenger said they were discussing the use of the county’s ARPA Funds. Clevenger explained that there was concern expressed about investing ARPA funds in the Community Foundation and then not expending those funds in the required time frame.  The funds must be appropriated by December 31, 2024, and expended by December 31, 2025.   

The ARPA Committee wants to set aside $500,000 to assist low-income families in connecting to the Regional Sewer.

Jesse said the ARPA Committee plans to use money from the county’s General Fund for the regional sewer assistance program and designated a project or projects that were going to be funded out of the General Fund and use ARPA funds to cover their costs.

Bohannon also expressed concern that the proposed Innkeepers ordinance doesn’t include representation in every town in the County.  He also believes that the County Council should have an appointment to the Board of Directors.

Attorney Clevenger told Bohannon State legislature designated the executive body for determining the makeup of the county’s tourism board. 

Bohannon stated that the County Council controls the collection of the innkeeper’s tax and the expenditures associated with it by approving their budget annually.  He thinks they should have one of the appointments with the five member tourism board.

The state statute that controls the Innkeepers Tax has changed and changed how the Board of Directors is appointed. Clevenger said there are specific guidelines and qualifications for selecting members for the board.

The proposed ordinance presented last week by a new contingent interested in tourism in the county suggested allowing the County Commissioners to make four appointments to the board and the statute allows the largest municipality in the county to make the fifth appointment. The Mayor of Plymouth would make that fifth appointment.    

The County Commissioners did agree to accept applications for the Tourism Board of Directors after the first reading of the new ordinance if it passes. There was no discussion on allowing the County Council to have an appointment to the board and the suggested board members presented by contingent had representation from all over Marshall County.