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Solvang City Council reduces funding for visitors bureau and chamber of commerce

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 21:25:42-04

The Solvang City Council slashed funding for the Solvang Conference and Visitors Bureau and Solvang Chamber of Commerce Monday while discussing the city’s 2019-2020 budget.

City council members recommended that both departments get $750,000 in funding.

The Chamber of Commerce initially asked for $300,000 in funding but only got $150,000.

The Conference and Visitors Bureau asked for $880,000 but only got $600,000.

This funding was a recommendation from the Solvang City Council and it could change depending on contract reviews.

The Mayor of Solvang Ryan Toussaint said the city council worked hard to create a sustainable budget that provides funding for services like the sheriff’s office and things that would improve the quality of life for the community.

“The entire council agreed to stop kicking the can down the road and to begin re-structuring many aspects of the City with the goal of reducing cost while increasing efficiency and customer service levels,” Toussaint said. “This year we totally re-shaped the budget to greatly increase the level of transparency to the public and the council while transitioning to a multi-year forecast of liabilities and revenues.”

He said even though the chamber of commerce and conference visitor’s bureau is not getting as much money as they asked, it should not impact tourism. He also said the city has a new approach towards approaching tourism in the city.

“The good news on the horizon is that with a revamped approach to how City government runs it’s affairs we can begin encouraging business’s to fix up their stores and attracting new businesses to Solvang that bring the kinds of experiences today’s demanding tourism demographic is looking for,” Toussaint said. “This will increase revenue and average spending in our stores over time.”

Toussaint said he believes the city is on a great path to success.