Council hears visitors bureau update

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The Sidney City Council heard a presentation Monday on the Sidney Convention Center & Visitors Bureau (CVB) during its teleconference meeting.

Jeff Raible, executive director of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, led the update discussion on the CVB, a destination marketing organization. Its purpose is to advance, encourage, and promote travel and tourism activities for the city of Sidney. The organization offers a full range of services that includes travel itineraries, hotel and restaurant selection assistance, area maps, meeting and conference facility assistance and more.

Before Raible’s presentation, City Manager Mark Cundiff explained that by state law, 25% of lodging tax collections must be used for the support of a CVB. Sidney’s lodging tax was implemented in 2002 to help maintain city services during a time of economic stagnation, as well as to help diversify income. According to Ohio Revised Code (ORC), the lodging tax collections are to be deposited “into a separate fund, which shall be spent solely to make contributions to convention and visitors’ bureaus operating within the county in which the municipal corporation or township is wholly or partly located, and the balance of that revenue shall be deposited in the general fund.”

After soliciting proposals, Cundiff said, the city entered in an agreement with the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce designating the Chamber as the agency responsible for administering the CVB, and was renewed in 2005.

During Raible’s presentation, he shared the CVB’s methods and mediums of promoting Sidney through print, digital, social media, visitors guides, travel shows, events and billboards which reached an estimated 3,152,300 people.

He also briefly revisited the branding strategy for Sidney and Shelby County he presented to City Council in September. Raible showed examples of various brand applications in print, social media, media, outdoor billboards and also a new marketing video, all promoting Sidney’s new logo and image.

In other business, City Council adopted an ordinance to levy special assessments for the construction and repair of certain described sidewalks in the city of Sidney.

Randy Magoto, engineering manager, introduced the assessment for the cost of construction and repairs of certain sidewalks in Sidney. He said the city made the necessary repairs to certain sidewalks for property owners who did not complete the work on their own during 2020. A notice of assessments was published in the paper for three weeks, and city staff didn’t receive any objections to assessment amounts, Magoto said. Bills would be sent out two weeks after Monday’s adoption of the ordinance. Property owners would then have 60 days to pay the bill or have it placed on their property taxes over a five-year period.

Council was also introduced to an ordinance to amend a section of the codified ordinances pertaining to the city investment and deposit policy, which outlines city objectives and what and who the city of Sidney may invest in and purchase investments from. The policy is periodically reviewed and amended over the years to reflect current ORC requirements or Government Finance Officer Association recommendations, said Renee DuLaney, assistant finance officer.

The item will return for further consideration at council’s Feb. 8 meeting.

Council also held an executive session to consider the employment of a public official/employee and pending or imminent court action. No action was taken by council when members came out of the executive session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.