Fireworks, film fest to receive lodging tax funds

Event support for 'Weird Beer Festival' is also included in city's proposed budget

The Washougal City Council has voted to postpone discussion and potential approval of the city’s budget for 2015.

Paul Greenlee made the motion during the Nov. 17 meeting, so that Brent Boger could be in attendance. Boger, an assistant city attorney for Vancouver, had to attend a Vancouver City Council meeting that same evening.

The Washougal council does not normally meet on the third Monday of the month, except for November and possibly December, for budget discussions and decisions.

The Washougal proposed budget includes $75,500 in expenditures approved by the city’s Lodging Tax Committee. The committee’s recommendations are subject to the approval of council.

They include $20,000 for professional services for tourism initiatives, involving a contract with Rene Carroll Consulting. This year, Carroll was involved in the development of a city of Washougal tourism website, that invites visitors to “Keep Discovering Washougal.”

The creation of the site, www.visitwashougal.com, involved Heather Jordan and her employees from D. Studio 21, Inc.

Other lodging tax committee recommendations include $17,000 for Independence Day fireworks near the Port of Camas-Washougal marina and $7,500 for website promotion and advertising.

Event support includes $6,000 for the Columbia Gorge Film Festival, $4,000 for the SUP Salmon Classic, $2,000 for a “Weird Beer Festival” (an event planned by CDM Caregiving Services), $1,500 for Oktoberfest steins and $600 for a pickleball tournament.

There is $15,900 remaining in event support for 2015, subject to the approval of the committee.

The hotel/motel funds must be used to support and promote tourism activities.

The lodging committee includes Washougal City Council member Dave Shoemaker, Peter Anderson, a member of the Washougal Lions Club; Brent Erickson, executive director of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, Bobbie Kana, with Rama Inn; and Harry Hajari, an owner of the Best Western Parkersville Inn & Suites.

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