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Oil and gas not the only thing booming in Carroll County

By Nancy Schaar
FPS Correspondent

Atwood boating
Patti Dingler of Dellroy (in the front of the kayak) was joined by Kris Ebert of North Canton Monday afternoon for a kayak ride on Atwood Lake. More seasonable temperatures Monday and sunny skies provided the perfect atmosphere for their ride.

Tourism is not just growing in Carroll County, it is booming!

Amy Rutledge, director of the county Convention and Visitors Bureau updated commissioners on the impact tourism has on the county Monday.

Rutledge said numbers are up significantly. 2013 figures show the county took in $57.8 million in tourism related activities which was up from the $31.1 in 2011; a 57% increase. She said over 700 jobs in Carroll County are directly related to tourism. Atwood Lake Lodge re-opened. 

“Contributing to the increase is the fact that our hotels have been full for the last two years unlike the previous study,” Rutledge noted.

“The re-opening of Atwood made a big difference as well,” Rutledge said, referring to the increase in bed tax her department has received since Atwood Lake Resort re-opened in late 2012.

 The increase in funding has allowed her to spend more than ever in the history of the CVB to promote the county. The CVB has also hired a contract employee to do social media advertising.

The study was completed by the Tourism Economics company, an Oxford Economics Company, which has been compiling the study for more than 10 years.

She said visitors guides for the county will have to be reordered soon. Rutledge ordered 75,000 two years ago, planning to have them last for the full two years, but she only has about 10,000 left and another year to go.

She noted advertising for the region has been featured in newspapers and state and national publications.  She said she has made more than 20 media presentations about Carroll County, most related to the oil and gas industry.

In an unrelated matter, Commissioner Tom Wheaton questioned Commissioner President Bob Wirkner about a written opinion from the county prosecutor regarding the commissioners’ authority to grant space to a communications company on the SR 9 tower with the county highway department receiving radios and services in return. Commissioners own the tower, which is located just north of the intersection of Cobbler Rd. and SR 9.

Wirkner said he has not received the written opinion from Prosecutor Donald R. Burns. Wheaton said the opinion was received via email.  Wirkner said the matter was tabled until Aug. 7 and would be dealt with then.
Wheaton had questions regarding the paging in place and said they need to find out the commissioners jurisdiction on the tower.  Wirkner said they discussed all of those issues when the Marcs (Multi Agency Radio Communications System) radio system was installed some time ago.

In other business commissioners:
- MET in executive session with Economic Development Director Aaron Dodds to discuss the hiring of an assistant for his office.  No action was taken.

- ANNOUNCED they will receive bids up to 10 a.m. Aug. 11 for a resurfacing project on Edwards St. in Loudon Township.  Specs are available at the commissioners office for $20.

- ANNOUNCED bridge replacement projects on County R (CR) 66 and Township Road (TR) 354 were to being July 31 and be completed by Sept. 29.  Ohio Bridge Corporation received the contract for the projects.

- SIGNED a contract for new software for Carroll County Transit with RouteMatch at the request of Director Sonja Leggett. The software will be paid for with a $100,000 grant.

-LEARNED Leggett revised the Transit policy and procedure manual and was presenting a copy to each employee.

- RECEIVED the Golden Age Retreat July report with 37 females and seven male residents.

- AGREED to table the CGAR renovation project bids until Aug. 11.

- RECEIVED the county dog pound report showing seven dogs impounded, five redeemed, three tagged, none destroyed, and one citation issued.

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