continued Olesheski said while that this new information would change the Business Alliance’s eligibility, it would unfortunately not change the maximum amount they were eligible for under the guidelines, which would still only be $3,300.
Mike Bowers, part of owner of barVino and co-chairmen of the North Creek Business Alliance, defended the shuttle.
“Bear in mind, occupancy tax exists for one reason: to promote tourism,” Bowers said. “Our town is always going to be a tourism town … and that’s why we’ve worked so hard at promoting tourism, and to be a bona fide tourist town their needs to transportation. That shuttle stops at every lodging facility and serves the entire area.”
Bowers said that last year, out of all the bed tax applications submitted to Warren County, theirs was ranked 10th.
“Warren County validates the shuttle in North Creek, and they are the originator of collecting this money that distributes it to the local government,” Bowers said.
After Olesheski again went through the process that the committee followed in determining its awards and said it would be unfair to make an exception to the percentage reduction rule just for the shuttle, Councilman Gene Arsenault offered his view.
“If I’ve seen any project that speaks to using bed tax money to help enhance and promote our community, then this is it,” Arsenault said. “I just see this as a comprehensive program that is vital to our continued growth, and if anything we should be talking about some sort of enhancement to this program.”
Some alternatives for funding the shuttle and possibly handling applications in the future were discussed until Councilman Arnold Stevens asked if Supervisor Ron Vanselow could come up with $3,200. After Vanselow replied that he could, Arnold made a motion to accept the recommendations of the committee except for the Business Alliance shuttle project, to which he wanted to award $10,000. The motion was passed with Olesheski dissenting.