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County Moving Forward with TPA Designation, Considering Hotel Tax Increase

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Commissioners aCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioners on Tuesday morning continued to adopt necessary resolutions for the designation of the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation as Clarion County’s Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA).

(Photo above taken at the 2023 Peanut Butter Festival in New Bethlehem.)

Commissioners started the process in August, following the decision by Pennsylvania Great Outdoors (PAGO) to withdraw as the official Clarion County TPA.

The first step was adopting Resolution No. 15 of 2023, certifying the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) as Clarion County’s Tourist Promotion Agency. The resolution states that Clarion County desires to promote business development, improve tourism, and increase economic benefits within Clarion County. To pursue those goals, Clarion County wants to plan, develop, and promote a new tourism development strategy and establish an organization to implement the plan’s objectives.

Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Heasley approved a motion authorizing the solicitor “to write an ordinance or whatever’s required to increase the hotel tax rate.”

Clarion County has operated a three percent hotel tax on all hotel rooms and similar accommodations. Although commissioners did not approve an increase at Tuesday morning’s meeting, the solicitor’s language could easily include an increase. A hotel tax rate of up to five percent is permitted.

A revised tourist promotion agreement with the CCEDC was also approved.

The next step is all municipalities in the county will receive a proclamation appointing the TPA, and fifty percent of the elected municipality officials must approve the declaration.

Some of the townships and boroughs officials may be voting at their next meeting, according to Commissioner Tharan.

In other action:

  • Approved Resolution No. 14 of 2023 – DCNR Grant extension request for the Clarion River Access Study.
  • Approved 2024 Clarion County Holiday Observance Schedule.
  • Approved 2024 Clarion County Employee Pay Date Schedule.
  • PCCD grant application for COVID-19 Mitigation in Local and County Confinement Facilities. Grant Amount: $64,079.00.
  • Approved CYS contract renewals for Fiscal Year 2023 – 2024.
    • Belmont Harrison Juvenile District, Sargus Juvenile Center to provide Secure Detention (out of state, Ohio). Term: 7/1/2023 – 6/30/2024. Cost: $220.00 – $250.00/day. County Match: 40%.
    • Keystone Adolescent Center, Inc. provides Community Residential Services for dependent and delinquent youth and a Foster Care Program. Term: 7/1/2023 -6/30/2024. Cost: $78.00 – $390.00/day. County Match: 20%.

Personnel Items included the following:

  1. Rehire Lorraine Schoepke to fill the vacant position of part-time County Helper. Non-Exempt. Non-Union Pay Grade 1. The starting rate is $14.42 per hour. Effective 09/25/2023.
  2. New Hire of Eric Wensel to fill the vacant position of Maintenance Helper. Non-Exempt. Non-Union Pay Grade 1. The starting rate is $14.00 per hour. Effective 09/25/2023.
  3. New Hire of Sharon Kelly to fill the position of Telecommunicator I. Non-Exempt. Non- Union Pay Grade 2. The starting rate is $14.00 per hour. Effective 09/11/2023.
  4. Change in Employment Status – Ashley Kinnan. Decrease in hours from Full-Time to Part-Time. Non-Exempt. Non-Union Pay Grade 2. Effective 08/18/2023.
  5. End of Probationary period for Ryan Radaker. Effective date 08/27/2023.
  6. Public Defender. End of Probationary period for David Pasekoff. Effective date 08/06/2023.
  7. Promotion of Amanda Gregory from Caseworker II to Ongoing Caseworker Supervisor. Exempt. Pay Grade 1. Effective date 09/05/2023.
  8. Promotion of Tiffany McHenry from Part-Time to Full-Time CO. Union. Starting rate: $15.25. Effective date 08/16/2023.
  9. Transfer of Elsa Ortiz-Wise from Clerk Typist II to Fiscal Assistant. Union. Starting rate: $15.59. Effective date of 09/21/2023.
  10. Transfer of Russell Bauer from Maintenance Helper to Correctional Officer. Union. Starting rate: $15.25. Effective date of 07/03/2023.

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