The Klamath County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday morning to adopt Ordinance No. 92, which creates procedures for establishing Tourism Improvement Areas which can be used to fund future tourism efforts in the county.
Commissioners Kelley Minty Morris and Donnie Boyd voted in favor of adopting the ordinance while Commissioner Derrick DeGroot voted in opposition.
While DeGroot voiced concerns about some language in the ordinance and the number of business owners opposed to it, Morris said she felt they needed to pass this ordinance to get the ball rolling and iron out the details in future steps.
“I think that there’s an opportunity in the future to do exactly as you suggest, Commissioner, for people to get together and talk about this and really flush out the details, but in order to even take that step, we need to do this part... But we can’t consider a next step until we put this most basic piece forward, so I strongly urge us to do that today,” Morris said.
“I think that we’d be better off as a board meeting with the business owners and trying to develop some type of consensus about how this could potentially move forward,” DeGroot said. “I do agree that these dollars are needed, I just don’t think there’s a consensus within the industry that would necessitate us passing this at this time.”
Boyd agreed with Morris that the ordinance should pass, assuming further conversations with the community along the line.
“I believe that with the continued support for all parties working on this ordinance and working on deciding something, this can turn into a great thing. I think it would be fantastic for the community if everybody were to come together and start working on this. The sad fact is I believe without passing this ordinance, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Boyd also emphasized his desire to make the county a destination.
“I truly believe that Klamath County is the place that we need to start selling. We need to start promoting Klamath County and treating Klamath County the way it should be,” he said. “We should be yelling from the skyscrapers in this town—which by the way are six stories tall—the old medical dental building, and say this is the most beautiful place on the west coast and you need to come here and experience this.”