“Somebody’s got it in their mind that we aren’t doing anything, but we really are.”
Keith said the commission has been able to offer financial support for the Boy Scouts of America, place historic markers in the state and provide annual funding for the Lewis and Clark Teacher Institute.
“The Falls of the Ohio interpretive center, we gave $50,000 to for the Lewis and Clark exhibit,” he said.
The tourism bureau has continued to support the commission because it is drawing attention to the area as the starting point to the Lewis and Clark expedition, helping to draw tourists.
“Every dollar it gets goes toward promoting Lewis and Clark,” Keith said of the commission. “We don’t know where this piece of legislation got slipped into the budget.”
In addition to the $20,000 collected annually by the commission, Keith said there is a balance of about $40,000 in the fund. If the commission is dissolved, all of that funding would revert back to the state.
“I think it is very important to keep that,” said Tourism Bureau Member Mark Bliss of the commission. “It’s a huge part of our existence around here and I think it’s very, very important and vital to keep [it]. The main thing is it doesn’t cost anything.”
Keith urged the tourism board members to contact state legislators to ask that the commission remain intact.
Two new appointees were named to the tourism bureau’s board of managers by New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. The appointments are Paul Kiger and Susie Gahan, whose terms are set to expire in January 2015. Other reappointments whose terms will also expire at that time are: Rosalie Dowell, a Floyd County Commissioners appointment; James Becker, a Clark County Commissioners appointment; and Umang Bhatt and Mike Kapfhammer, Jeffersonville mayoral appointments.