The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 13, 2013

Conneaut's I-90 tourist office open part-time starting July 1

CONNEAUT — The tourist information office inside the Interstate 90 rest area in Conneaut will be staffed with a part-time employee beginning next month, according to an Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman.

Brent Kovacs, ODOT District 4 spokesman, said Wednesday the employee will begin work on July 1. That’s the same day a $1.5 billion transportation budget approved by the Ohio Senate in April takes effect. The budget includes $250,000 ODOT may spend to staff tourist offices at entry points to Ohio, including Conneaut.

The state has not hired a worker, Kovacs said. State Rep. John Patterson, whose 99th District includes Ashtabula County, said recently the state “is working through the staffing.”

Ward 2 Councilman Phil Garcia said recently he understood the office will be open between noon and 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

In January, ODOT announced it would be removing its employees from tourist offices across the state to reduce expenses. Offices would still be open and brochures would be available, but no one would greet visitors.

The announcement raised the ire of local and state representatives, who said the office was a valuable way to answer questions about local attractions. The result was the staffing option included in the transportation budget.

Still in place is the pay-to-display program for brochures and pamphlets at the offices. Organizations now pay a fee to a distributor, who arranges to have literature placed in each of the state tourism offices.

Local officials said they believed the part-time staffing arrangement was a compromise. Garcia, who spearheaded the campaign to salvage the office, wasn’t completely happy.

“The state must not realize tourists come through here seven days a week,” he said recently.

Connie Naylor, of Conneaut’s Board of Tourism, said the part-time hours were expected. “We had pretty much resigned ourselves to that situation,” she said late last month.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted