Franklin County (Pa.) Visitors Bureau to be converted into nonprofit

August 15, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • A billboard along Interstate 81 welcomes visitors to Franklin County, Pa., and includes the website for the Franklin County Visitors Bureau.
Herald-Mail file photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A transition is under way to convert the county-operated Franklin County (Pa.) Visitors Bureau into a nonprofit organization focused on tourism promotion.

The Frankling County (Pa.) Commissioners voted Thursday to proceed with making the visitors bureau a nonprofit organization on Jan. 1, 2014. The commissioners said most visitors bureaus in the state are nonprofit entities.

A priority will be ensuring the visitors bureau’s three employees continue to receive employment and benefits if they want them, Commissioners’ Chairman David Keller said.

“The county has been well-served by Janet (Pollard, director) and the staff of the visitors bureau, and we want to ensure they have an opportunity with the new entity,” Keller said.

Each year, the county receives about $500,000 in revenue from its hotel tax. Once a treasurer’s fee is taken from that funding, the remaining amount is expected to be split between the county and the nonprofit organization.


Officials indicated the split will send 80 percent of the funding to the visitors bureau and 20 percent to the county in two installments.

The commissioners said they will honor existing funding commitments to Totem Pole Playhouse and the Franklin County Historical Society.

In addition, the commissioners are working to direct the county’s share of the revenue to “tourism infrastructure,” such as facilities, events and organizations, with focuses on historical, cultural and recreational tourism.

The proposal for the transition came from a work group that included Pollard, Keller said. That work group will now focus on the transition itself, he said.

The commissioners said they anticipate that one of them will serve on the nonprofit organization’s board of directors to provide oversight.

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