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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

State Cuts County’s Tourism Grant

Potter County Today

(c) Solomon's Words

(c) Solomon's Words

Tourist promotion in Potter County could take a big hit next year, due to a new formula for distributing state funds. Potter County Visitors Association’s (PCVA) state funding has been cut from $34,652 this year to $13,355, which is a 61 percent decrease, largest proportional reduction in the state.

Under Pa. Act 50 of 2008, the Tourism Promotion Assistance legislation, tourist promotion agencies are awarded funding based on a formula that weighs the agency’s eligible expenses, hotel room revenues, and an evaluation of the proposed use for the funding (i.e., marketing plan). Those changes have a negative impact on smaller, single-county tourist promotion agencies.

David Brooks, executive director of PCVA, expressed disappointment with the allotment and moved quickly to urge state leaders to revise the law. He said the state’s reliance on a formula taking into account room tax revenue and promotional spending penalizes areas with relatively few motel rooms and small budgets.

PCVA’s budget relies most heavily on the revenue derived from a three-percent tax on motel, hotel and bed and breakfast rentals in the county. The Potter County Commissioners at last week’s meeting reaffirmed their support for that dedicated funding source, which was approved by a previous board after considerable debate and controversy. Membership fees are another major source of revenue. PCVA directors will be studying the agency’s 2009 budget to adjust for the cut in state funding.


Solomon's words for the wise said...

John Blake, Acting Secretary

Department of Community and Economic Development

Commonwealth Keystone Building

400 North Street, 4th Floor

Harrisburg PA 17120


Dear Mr. Blake,

I have recently found that funding through your office for tourism promotion for PA Route 6

was cut this year. As a Potter County businessperson and resident, I would remind you that

this area has been suffering economically since the demise of Adelphia in 2002 and the shut down of

the Time Warner Call Center when over 2,000 people lost jobs in this area as a result.

Governor Ed Rendell visited the Potter County area, and spoke about how he was going to

promote the area for tourism, and let our secret out to the rest of the state. He has done this,

and now that many area agencies have taken on this idea as a possible solution to our economic

problems, we find that funding has been cut to those agencies.

As an online newspaper publisher, I feel that these tourism efforts in this part of the state should be

expanded, not reduced.

Although many of my readers don't realize what potential tourism holds for the Northern Tier,

Route 6 corridor, I am confident that the beauty and unspoiled nature, as espoused by

DCNR Director Mike DiBernardinis, across the area, is definitely unique to the Northeastern

United States. The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, The PA Lumber Museum, The Denton HIll

Ski Area, The rebuilt Lyman Run Lake, the Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park, the pristine

headwaters of the Allegheny and Genesee Rivers, and the Pine Creek gorge are just a few

of the reasons that Route 6 promotion is essential to tourism here.

Wellsboro is a good example of how tourists have added to businesses and income along Route 6.

Coudersport and Galeton are getting set to do the same. Farmers markets, a market on Coudersport's

main street to house many small shops, an attempt to establish a company store with local

stockholders in the former JC Penney store that abandoned the area last winter, and several

community festivals in Coudersport and Galeton are only a few of the activities area people are

doing to attempt to capitalize on the Route 6 experience.

Nearby communities, like Austin, promoted an outstanding Dam Show, bringing talented musicians from

a wide area this summer.

Route 6 was recently signed with mile markers so people touring could more easily locate attractions.

I personally talked with Governor Rendell in Coudersport when he promised this help with tourism

to help alleviate the negative economic factors here. It was a good idea then, and it is a good idea

now. Please don't stop this effort in the middle of it's inception.

For this Northern Tier area, tourism may be the only hope for our economic salvation. I would urge you

to approve the Route 6 funding grant now and in the future. There are dedicated people here depending

on it to complete this mission.

James B. Jones

Solomon's words

Anonymous said...

Hey, check the ED Council. They seem to control all our tax money

Anonymous said...

It seemed like a good idea to some of you then tax on the motels, etc. Now it has come back to bite you in the butt.

Anonymous said...

Not really. The 3-percent room tax is now about all PCVA can count on except for membership fees. It is more important than ever now that the state has kicked Potter County in the butt again.

Anonymous said...

Investing in tourism should not be the governments job, it should fall onto the businesses that need the tourism as their income. This country has come to an awful state of affairs when it has to "depend" on the government to support it's businesses.

Anonymous said...

Potter County should have been thinking about this the last 15 years instead of riding the Rigas gravey train. Everyone was fat and happy when John GAVE them all the money they could ever want. Now that he isn't there to bail them out every time they get into trouble it is ALL THEIR FAULT!!

Maybe the business owners should look in the mirror and realize that customers don't like to be treated like crap when they come into your establishment to spend their hard earned money. The way you are treated at the majority of the businesses in the Coudersport is pathetic!! The prices are WAY to high and then they have the audicity to complain that people don't buy in town, they go out of town. WELL NO KIDDING!!!

Also, you can thank the police in the Coudersport area for some of the demise of tourism. The word is out, the only thing the town cops do is give DUI's. When you have a town cop bragging he has given more DUI's than anyone in the area and is proud of this, something is wrong. When you drive through town and see the Chief of Police puffing on a cancer stick in the town police car and then throwing the butt out the window, SOMETHING IS WRONG!! The majority of the work done from the top of the hill is DUI's. In the past, folks would travel to the surrounding ares in Potter County, they would all pile into their vehicles and go to town for the night. NO ONE DOES THAT ANYMORE!!!! I have talked to NUMEROUS camp owners that say they never go into town unless they absolutely have to as they can't go out to dinner and have a couple of drinks because they cannot take the chance on getting pulled over and getting a DUI.

It is a JOKE PEOPLE!!!! You want tourism back.... DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!! You are never going to get a cent from Cheese Steak Eddie no matter what he says, he only cars about what goes on in Philadelphia. If you don't know that by now, something is wrong!!!

Rise up, take a stand, take some pride in your own business and make it worthy of people visiting it and they will visit. Start attending your local town meetings and get the right people into your local government. There is no pride up there anymore, it is depressing coming into Coudersport anymore.

Anonymous said...

Good letter Jim.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the "getting treated like crap" comment. Heck, in Galeton, if you can get so much as a "thank you" at the checkout counters of the high priced grocery stores, you are doing pretty good. I hate shopping in Galeton.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster, as I was sitting here reading the first couple paragraphs of your post I was in complete agreement. Then you lost me on this little tirade about law enforcement and DUI arrests! I for one am grateful to our police and probation departments for keeping these idiots off the road.
Promoting tourism in this area should not include turning the area into an adult playground with no rules, so flatlanders can come up here and blow off steam! They come to our local establishments and get drunk and obnoxious. They cheat on their wives and get in fights. Then they get in their vehicles and drive on our often already dangerous roads while under the influence. These are the same roads I travel with my family and do not wish to share with drunks! Don't get me wrong I enjoy going out for a drink once in a while too, but I do it responsibly with a designated driver and everyone else can do the same. You can not blame the fall of tourism on law enforcement, they are just doing their job and for the most part they are doing a damn good job! If our visitors to Potter county can't grow up and act responsibly STAY HOME! We don't need that kind of business, anyway.

Anonymous said...

This week I went to Coudersport to hopefully purchase a new range. Wanting to give the local guy my money. Unfortunately I left knowing I would NEVER make the attempt again. The price was $180 over the one I bought in Olean. Plus, it was a step up from the ones in Coudy. How sad. High prices-sell a few. Lower the price and sell more.

As far as the police in Coudy getting the drunks off the streets, YEAH FOR THEM! My mom was killed by a drunk driver so no sympathy from me when they get caught. Why do you feel that will keep tourists away from Route 6, are you saying if it becomes a high tourist area more will visit knowing they can drink and drive? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Just like you complaining the local police smoke, they are only killing themselves,but that concerns you....Weird

Anonymous said...

I don't care if you're a "native" or a "flatlander"......if you are driving drunk, hopefully you will get caught and be punished. But back to courtesy in Potter County...THERE IS NONE. Business owners make you feel like they are doing YOU a favor by allowing you to buy something from them. Need service after the sale? Forget about it. I'm a "flatlander" and frankly have never understood the use of the term in the negative fashion that is implied in Potter County but hey, guess I'd rather be called a flatlander than a native.

Anonymous said...

Actually, i believe it is against the law to smoke in the town police car....isn't it considered public property?

Anonymous said...

To the flatlander. Met many and think they are pretty nice people. met a few that are jerks! I'm a native, know many that are nice people, know a few that are jerks. Get my point?

Anonymous said...

You're having a fit that people are getting pulled over for DUI???

Our community has lost too many young people to DUI already. The penalties need to be a lot more severe. It's too bad they don't pull the driver's license with the first violation.

I think you'd feel differently if you'd lost a friend or loved one to drunk driving.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ the posters above and do not condone drinking and driving. Getting the DRUNKS off the road is one thing, the problem is you have 2 beers these days and you are over the limit!!! I am ALL for those who are to intoxicated to drive to be taken off the road as I was hit head on by a drunk driver years ago and it was his 4th offense.... I was speaking from what I have been told by numerous people that actually come to Potter in camps. It was taken completely out of context as I worded my rant wrong and for that I apologize. Again, I do NOT condone drinking and driving, but having 2-3 beers w/ your buddies while you are eating dinner and leaving only to get harassed by the local police is a different story!!

Anonymous said...

Having 2 beers with your buddies at dinner is all it takes to "legally" become intoxicated. That is not the fault of the police (local or state). THAT IS THE LAW and we pay them to enforce it. Go and have dinner, then go to camp and drink yourself silly. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Taking money right out of the pockets of the local bar owners!!!

Anonymous said...

The police in Coudersport are an absolute joke. They aren't doing any good at all. All they do is eat, smoke their cancer sticks and drive around looking fat The problem isn't the law it is the abuse of the law which coudy's finest is so famous for. My self as an African American can't even cross the street without one of them wanting to pat me down. I can't even imagine if they saw me get into my car late at night it would be a guaranteed traffic stop with full cavity search. But when you the only black around it makes sense to these hillbilly cops to harass me.

Anonymous said...

And putting money right into the beer distributers pockets!!!

Anonymous said...

What is this....but when you the only black around....what a bunch of nonsense!!!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind giving money to the distributors in Coudy if they weren't so over priced. Apparently you haven't purchased beer anywhere else if you still buy there. Plus again, you get treated like crap whenever you walk into the place. Like you owe them something!!! Pretty bad when I have to drive to Port or Galeton to buy beer. Not to mention if you see one of them in particular he is out in a bar always whacked making a complete a$$ out of himself running his mouth. Good way to have people want to purchase beer from you... I don't know what happened to Coudy, but it is a real shame!!

Anonymous said...

The point is, the local government should be funding different approaches to bringing in revenue, especially including tourism. Coudersport and all or potter county needs to pull itself out of the dark ages and have some progressive and forward thinking. Just like all of america. And the cops should not be smoking in the cars, and drunks should stay off the roads, but there is no type of taxi service, and if you try walking from the bar a police officer will 9/10 times harass you when you are doing the right thing by not driving.

And the Staties and local cops are pretty racist, as the person above me mentioned. I have scene a man at night of a darker persuasion leave sheetz, drive as a law abiding citizen(no speeding or swerving, and appropriate use of turning signal) and was pulled over by a statie for whatever nonsense.

Coudersport we live in 1955 and are proud of it. I love this town but most of ya'll give this town its backwater image.

Anonymous said...

Most all cops, state or local "stereotype" ex. Older cars, clothing being worn, stickers on cars, they are just waiting for an excuse to pull you over! "stereotype"

Anonymous said...

To the Sheetz witness. What a liar! You should be ashamed of yourself. why come on here and try to sell a BS story? Maybe you should set the beer can down and back away slowly.

Anonymous said...

Why would you think this individual is a liar? They do it to not only people of color, but to just regular people that come into Sheetz. Haven't you ever noticed they hang out at Sheetz every single night around 12-1am? I haven't personally seen them pick on someone because of their race, but HAVE seen it happen to innocent people just because they are out late at night. It is horrible in this area, they literally look for reasons to pull you over and if they can't find one, they make one up!! Maybe YOU should get out more so you can actually see what is happening in our County.

Anonymous said...

Bs story? Why thanks for calling me a liar. I shouldn't be ashamed for telling what i saw. Maybe you need to realize that just because it is unimaginable to you doesn't mean its a falsehood. This IS Potter County

Anonymous said...

I for one am very happy for the "cops" being out in Coudy. The streets are full of nasty looking kids and adults when the sun goes down and sometimes even before, just check out the street corners and steps of the buildings. Yuck! Save Coudy before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Route 6 will make a detour around Coudersport if it doesn't get it's act together. It's not the county that is responsible it is the boro!

Anonymous said...

Not only do they pull over people based on the color of their skin, but I am pretty sure it is a coudersport borough mandate for all town police.

Anonymous said...

I feel that what better place to let people drive a little looped up than coudersport where all you can do it hit a deer.

Anonymous said...

"Business owners make you feel like they are doing YOU a favor by allowing you to buy something from them".

How true for SOME businesses. Not all, but some.

They have very poor front line people and poor owners. I try not to deal with them if possible. My money is too important to give it someone who makes me feel like I am a burden.

Maybe we should start a list of businesses where you feel welcome.

As a side note, the last few visits to McDonalds I have noticed a large increase in how pleasant they were. It seems they have undergone some customer service training. I feel like they appreciate my business.

Anonymous said...

Reading what is being said about the police is cracking me up. It seems like a bunch of cop haters are here whining. Seems like just because you can’t run wild & do what you want you get mad and blame the law for ruining your good time. I’m glad dui’s are being hunted and taken off the road. I wonder what the families of the 13,000 people killed last year by drunk drivers would say?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Cops who catch the DUI's. They should put a bounty on them and give the cops $50. for every one they catch. If you're too drunk to walk, don't drive, call a friend.

Anonymous said...

Don't walk either, they will give you a ticket for that too. I for one am not a "cop hater" but when we talk about police officers, lets not talk about the boro "rent-a-cops" they are a freaking joke. Give them a gun and a badge and they are WALKING TALL!!! They are a laughing stock!! Hell even the Troopers on top of the hill laugh and mock them because they are such a JOKE!!

Anonymous said...

It's been the law for a long time, and eventhough Pennsylvania has cracked down harder than ever on it for the past years, people are still stupid and continue on with breaking the law. I have lost friends and family members due to being hit by a drunk driver or driving drunk themselves. I would rather see people go to jail and lose their license then have to watch another spouse, parent, sibling or child crying out in a gut wrenching pain because they were killed. People who drink and drive don't care if someone dies as a result of their decisions, so why should any of us care when they are arrested? I have teenage children driving these same roads, and they know where I stand about them drinking and driving or climbing in with someone who is. It has been an open discussion in our household since before they were old enough to drive. They have grown up seeing the tragic outcome of what it does to people.I would have no sympathy if one of them were arrested for it, only relief that they aren't dead or in prison for a long time. So everytime I read that someone was picked up for DUI, I find ease knowing that the police officers are out there making it safer for the rest of us. One of my kids will be going to school to become a police officer next fall, and my other child is in the military, training to be an MP I am very proud of them both. So congrats to the police for jobs well done and my two kids look forward to having the opportunity of working beside you!

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the oil, gas and windmill people, there would be little to no room tax being collected in Potter County. Tourist make up less than 10% of the local hotels revenue. If the 2 biggest hotels gross a million each year, that's 66,000 in room tax to the PCVA. I wonder what the total budget of the PCVA is?

"The Potter County Commissioners at last week’s meeting reaffirmed their support for that dedicated funding source, which was approved by a previous board after considerable debate and controversy."

Yeah, show me a tax the "dream team" doesn't like.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is most of the police in coudersport have had DUI's. But it is ok because they are white.

Anonymous said...

Rude unprofessional business owners.... Hmmm...

Most of the bar/restraunts in Potter County are owned by transplanted flatlanders from Philly, Lancaster and York.

Nuff said....

Anonymous said...

Most of the nasty comments made on this blog are by potter county people and jmho. It is a wonder anyone comes here.
Hey jmho, are you from fox hill?

Anonymous said...

"Hey jmho, are you from fox hill?"

Are you kidding?

What in the heck is wrong with you?!
Do you think everyone that does not AGREE with your opinion is from Fox Hill? Just who lives on Fox Hill that YOU have an Axe to grind with?
Give it a break will ya?!

Anonymous said...

Don't give the cops a reason to peek their interest in you and you won't have anything to worry about.
I find it frustrating that so many people stray from the point. Tourism funding equals free advertisment for business owners. If people come to our home town, as a non business owner they are only crowding our streets, woods, streams, restaurants,etc. I do support the monies that were in tourism development to go to local goverment agencies such as state parks, police, and education. Spend money on all of our neighbors including our future generations so that we can have intellegnet leadership when we are too old to protect our resources.

Anonymous said...

Most of the nasty comments made on this blog are by potter county people and jmho. It is a wonder anyone comes here.
Hey jmho, are you from fox hill?

Nasty comments? Please quote one "nasty comment" I made. If you think I will follow blindly, those who are unqualified to run this county, then you had better think again. If you think I will not speak up when landowners rights are being imposed upon, you better think again. There is nothing nasty about what I post. I am a businessman in Potter County, so I look at things from a business standpoint which is apparently different than the knee jerk way you look at things.


Anonymous said...

I would agree with JMHO you people blame the business owners of potter county for not being friendly, or getting treated like crap whenever you walk into the place. I blame the customer with the poor attitude about prices going up. The same customer that lost their factory job making 12 bucks an hour yet still votes Republican every election because Bush is such a great Christian. This same customer will complain about how bad service is, but the problem is this customer's degenerate failed out of high school kids. They are the only ones left for hire in the service industry up there after the Adelphia collapse. These are the people providing the terrible, rude, and inconsiderate service not the business owners. Maybe if you people did a better job as parents we would all be better off.

Anonymous said...

"I blame the customer with the poor attitude about prices going up"

"Maybe if you people did a better job as parents we would all be better off"

Be better parents and I will be a friendler and better business owner?

Somehow I just can't seem to wrap my arms around this logic?

Please help me.....send duct tape before my head explodes...

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the business people, they can't help that for 10-15 years they haven't had to care about customers because with Adelphia they just had to sit back and count the cash. Now they may actually have to work for thier business and be nice to people and some of them haven't made the switch and instead of doing anything they just hope that if they complain enough business will magically happen again.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you meet me at sheetz today at 3:45 and I will show you how to be a better parent. I will be wearing a nascar hat and camouflage pants with a big wad of chewing tobacco in my mouth. Oh wait I guess that doesn't narrow it down at all.