City Commission gets multiple updates from across Albany

The Albany Board of Commissioners is holding a special called work session with city groups to get an update on the progress that's been made. / Jessica Fairley

The Albany Board of Commissioners is holding a special called work session with city groups to get an update on the progress that's been made.

Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem began the roster of presentations speaking on the added jobs that are coming to southwest Georgia.

Clem also presented a slide show of the growth of our area.

After viewing the display, Commissioners say there needs to be more diversity in the EDC presentation of the demographic of Georgia.

Commissioner Jon Howard says he didn't even see the mayor in the slide show.

Clem says the reason there weren't much diversity in the Quail Hunt photos is because those business people were from out of town.

Albany leaders are impressed by the strides the Economic Development Commission, Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau and Albany Chamber of Commerce are making to change the look and image of the city.

The Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau has changed its look to attract those seeking adventure on our waterway.

"The more adventurous people are canoeing their kayaking, show bass fishing is a major draw here. We just got to promote it and advertise it and let people know about that," said Rachelle Beasley, CVB Manager.

As the CVB partners with the Albany Chamber of Commerce to showcase the city's amenities, Albany commissioners want to make sure their partnership is funded legally. A portion of the chamber president's salary comes out of hotel/motel tax funds and the city attorney says this may be unlawful.

"Just a general $87,000 line item or whatever it was for that was described as general oversight raises an issue of concern for our office," said Nathan Davis, Albany City Attorney.

A portion of two additional chamber positions are also funded from hotel/motel taxes. Nathan Davis says those funds should be used only for promoting tourism rather than general overhead costs.

"It's what you're doing on a day to day basis. Are your going to conventions, are you attracting little league teams. It's how you do it not how you say what's actually being done with the money," said Nathan Davis.

City commissioners are now asking for clear documentation of how the funds are used.

"The hotel/motel tax is very broad and there are many different statutes of which you can collect under and those statutes when you're going through they can be interpreted different ways," said Rachelle Beasley.

Beasley says this is just something they will have to work through so that they can continue their partnership in promoting tourism.

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