Champaign City Council votes to support convention and visitors bureau
CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign City Council has decided to continue its financial support for the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to approve an agreement for services with the bureau.
Under the agreement, the city will spend $222,760 from its general fund to support the bureau and its activities.
Jayne DeLuce, president and chief executive officer of the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said her organization has regrouped since the Urbana City Council decided to no longer provide $72,000 of funding for the bureau.
DeLuce said the Champaign County Board, St. Joseph Village Board and private contributors have stepped up to provide some funding, but the organization had to make cuts to staffing and support services in response to the loss of money from Urbana.
"We're doing more with less," DeLuce said.
DeLuce noted the convention and visitors bureau's recent efforts in Champaign, including moving the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival from Urbana to downtown Champaign.
"It was a huge opportunity for everybody because it helped the festival become bigger," DeLuce said. "We brought in larger names and more entertainment."
She said the bureau was instrumental in bringing the Hot Rod Power Tour to Champaign in June.
"It brought people from all over to Champaign, not only domestically, but also internationally."
In addition, the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show is coming to Champaign for a minimum of five years beginning in 2013, bringing tens of thousands of Corvette enthusiasts to the city each year.
In other business, city council member Tom Bruno suggested the city enforce part of the city code that allows the police chief to set rules and regulations for the maintenance of alarms in light of several out-of-focus security photos taken during recent bank robberies in the city.
"It hurts other banks and it hurts the community when you have such a cavalier attitude about it that you have outdated technology, poorly aimed cameras, out-of-focus cameras, cameras still using VHS recording tapes, black-and-white cameras, and you don't care because you get robbed once and the guy will rob a different bank next week," Bruno said.
Bruno's comments were in response to a News-Gazette's Sunday story about the poor-quality pictures that police have to work with after some local bank robberies.