Cumberland Times-News

December 12, 2012

Chamber of Commerce president submits request for $1 million prior to canoe races

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— OAKLAND — During a meeting with Garrett County’s two state legislators, Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, requested legislation for a $1 million general bond bill to be used in connection with the Deep Creek 2014: International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Championships.

“We do have some infrastructure improvements that need to take place to help us make this the most successful event possible,” said Christian during the annual prelegislative meeting held at Garrett College on Saturday. “Ultimately, we can have legacy events and continue to bring in more events of this olympic caliber to Garrett County.”

The bond bill will be used on Appalachian Regional Commission funds that the chamber hopes to receive. Christian also asked for Sen. George Edwards’ and Delegate Wendell Beitzel’s continued support of Deep Creek 2014.

“I know that both of you are working with our county commissioners and the our new director of Deep Creek 2014,” said Christian. “This is going to have a huge impact not just for Garrett County but for the entire state.”

Christian estimated that the event would bring in $10 to $15 million to the county.

Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry will be hosting Deep Creek 2014 Sept. 16-21.

Michael Logsdon, acting director of ASCI, will provide a 2012 season update on ASCI during the board of county commissioners public meeting on Dec. 18, according to a press release. The county’s Department of Financial Services will also present actual financial information on ASCI for the end of Fiscal Year 2012 and the 2012 season.

The commission exercised jurisdiction over ASCI in March with this decision solely based on the debt commitment being satisfied, the appointment of a new management structure responsible for day to day operations and oversight of financial accountability and human resource administration by the county administrator and the Department of Financial Services.

The county had negotiated a debt payment settlement of $600,000 with two banking institutions that would pay off the outstanding debt obligation of $3.2 million, according to the news release. The payment will be repaid to county’s general fund from the collected hotel rental tax.  The hotel rental tax rate was increased by 1 percent for Fiscal Year 2013 to a percentage of 6 percent.

The hotel rate increase will also cover promotions of Deep Creek 2014 and will provide an extra $5,000 to the Garrett County Historical Society, Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator, indicated during a May budget meeting.

The $118,000 expenditure in promotions for the races is from seed money, Pagenhardt said during the budget meeting.

Todd Copley, executive director of Deep Creek 2014, will be introduced during the commission meeting.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.