Ernie Yeager, owner of the Junction Quick Stop in Jasper, was formally appointed to the new Jasper Advertising and Promotion Commission by the Jasper City Council when it met Thursday night, July 15. He was nominated by Mayor Jan Larson to fill the final seat on the panel. She originally selected Marcus Van Camp, but he declined the appointment.
Yeager agreed to serve and attended the JAPC's first meeting Friday, July 9.
Larson told the council she came away from that inaugural meeting feeling that unless directed to do so by the council she would not be inclined to propose a one cent sales tax on prepared food. The so called "hamburger tax" would provide funding for the JAPC to operate.
She said she agreed with commissioners who argued that the town has few restaurants and businesses that would be required to collect the tax, yet the tax would benefit other businesses as part of the entire city. She said she has experienced situations when some businesses feel that others are taking undo advantage of available funds. She said she wants the JAPC to avoid that sort of conflict.
Larson maintains her view that tourism is the main focus of the city's long range economic development plan and the JAPC can direct the city in those efforts.
The commission's next meeting is set for 2 p.m., Friday, July 23.
Also on the topic of tourism, Larson updated the council on the development of the former Buffalo Theater that the city acquired through a donation to turn into a visitor's center.
An architect has been hired to oversee the project. An inspection of the building shows that the building suffers from moisture that gathers in its basement. The basement walls need sealing and the rock work on the building's exterior needs to be tuck pointed to fill in cracks that allows moisture to enter.
No cost estimates have been made at this point, Larson said.
The front part of the building and restrooms can be used as soon as the basement is dried out. Work would be able to be carried out on the rest of the building, she believes.
Larson said the reopened center would provide the community with a venue for large gatherings, meetings or training.
The city sought the building to provide restrooms for the traveling public and as a place where tourist information could be disseminated.