MT. VERNON — New programs, festival and events in the city mean a proposed increase in the Tourism Department budget."With new programs being implemented after the Branding study with festivals and events, some extra spending to kick start those programs is in order," City Manager Ron Neibert said Friday during a council workshop meeting. "The working fund balance at the end of next fiscal year will still be well over what is required by the fiscal policy."The department is expected to start the 2013-14 fiscal year with a balance of $407,738. Revenue is projected at $569,557 and expenditures of $659,564. The projected ending balance is estimated at $317,731.The additional funds spent this year also include $47,000 in salary and fringe benefits for an additional employee at the department."The city is doing more events, festivals and we need to have a person assist in coordinating with the Festivals Committee, Public Works, Police and city department," Neibert said. "It will be someone to help manage new festivals. Also, at this time, on holidays, there is no staffing at the Tourism Department and the Visitors Center. ... On those days, more than others, it should be manned when there are more people on the road, stopping to ask questions and receive information about what is happening in the area."The budget shows a projected decrease in revenues from the prior fiscal year, in part due to the loss of hotel/motel tax receipts during the demolition and construction of the new Drury Hotel. The revenues are expected to return when the new hotel is built, and increase when Interstate construction is completed, Neibert said.According to Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon, tourism and the new festivals are showing a positive impact on the economy of the city, with visitors spending $82 million last year — up from the previous year.
Road closed due to gas leak
The Mt. Vernon Fire Department Wednesday afternoon barricaded a portion of 12th Street at First United Methodist Church due to a gas leak. The leak was caused by snow and ice falling from the church's roof and striking a gas meter.Continued ...
RLC Board appoints two Title III employees
The Rend Lake College Board of Trustees Tuesday appointed two new employees whose positions are being funded by a Title III Pathways to Success in Health Careers grant.Continued ...
History Society earns award
MT. VERNON -- The Jefferson County Historical Society was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois Association of Museums. The award was presented in October for the "A Day in the Life of a Prairie Child" program, which has gained in popContinued ...
Lady Rams topple Orphan Annies
CENTRALIA -- Defense wins championships. The Lady Rams served notice on Tuesday it would not relinquish its South Seven Conference title without a fight, taking a 40-34 conference victory over arch-rival Centralia. It was the first time the Lady RamsContinued ...
County approves workmen's comp carrier
MT. VERNON -- The Illinois Public Risk Fund will remain Jefferson County's carrier for workmen's compensation insurance. The County Board held a special meeting Tuesday night, during which it voted to award bids for workmen's compensation and propertContinued ...
- MVTHS reviews tax levy
- Christmas Parade canceled
- History Society earns award
- MVTHS Finance Committee reviews tax levy
- Area road conditions improve
- Bid opening set for Thursday
- Accident on Broadway
- Equipment failures frustrate road crews
- Weather-related cancellations
- MUSICALLY SPEAKING
- Road closed due to gas leak