By Greg Bennett
The Town of Shelburne wants some questions, a lot of questions, answered before it will support continued funding for a county-wide tourism coordinator.
So far, only three of the five municipal units in Shelburne County are in support of a proposed five-year agreement with the Shelburne County Tourism Association, which would continue funding of a country-wide tourism coordinator.
In a lengthy notice of motion, Councillor Roy O’Donnell asked council to defer a decision and listed off a series of questions he wants put to the Shelburne County Tourism Association to answer about the status of its effort to implement the recommendations of the most recent tourism report for the area.
Among the many issues O’Donnell wants addressed include what measures the association has made to develop, beachcombing and birding programs or to initiate new festivals.
The Town of Lockeport has decided not to support the agreement and the Town of Shelburne is considering an option to instead to hire an events/tourism coordinator that would focus on eastern Shelburne County.
A negative decision from Shelburne may send the Municipality of Barrington back to the drawing board and Warden Eddie Nickerson, has said he believes the move is “headed in the wrong direction,” especially considering the resumption of the Yarmouth to Maine ferry next May.
Barrington council will be considering their options at the next Committee of the Whole meeting.
The municipally funded, county-wide tourism coordinator initiative was started in 2009. For the past four years, Suzy Atwood had held the position, working to promote the county as a destination.
Under the current proposed agreement, the annual budget for a county-wide tourism coordinator would range from $51,000 in year one (2014/15) to $60,378 in year five (2018/19).
(With files from Kathy Johnson)