The Maryville Tourism Committee discussed hiring a staff person at the March 10 meeting.

Committee President Josh McKim said the two things tourism committees need to do is have more wayfinding signage in its town and to hire an employee. He felt it is time to start looking at the options available.

McKim estimated there are enough funds in the tourism budget to hire a full-time person for two years. The person would need to be hired under the city of Maryville’s auspices, as the tourism committee doesn’t have the authority to hire employees.

The Downtown Maryville group is looking at hiring a part-time person. Committee member and Downtown Maryville President Stephanie Campbell, said the downtown group is open to an obvious collaboration.

Factors the committee needs to consider for the staff person are:

• A clear vision of the community.

• What we are hiring and what they are doing.

• Talk costs and priorities.

• What does the committee want from the position?

The application of Bryan Dulin, Cobblestone Inn, to fill the open citizen position on the committee was approved.

A second intern is being hired to handle the social media presence of Maryville tourism. Questions were asked about the intern who was working on the webpage. No new business listings have been received in the last two weeks and the amount of work she has to complete has diminished.

A $30,000 tourism marketing proposal was approved. This is $10,000 above the budgeted amount in the 2020-21 budget through September 30. The proposal will spend $20,000 in marketing ads and $10,000 in creative content, including $5,000 each for photo budget and web content.

FY 2021 revenues have fallen to the FY 2019 levels since the wind turbine crews are no longer in the area and staying at area hotels. Year-to-date totals are $54,604.27 compared with FY 2020 year-to-date totals of $78,448.53.

Concern was voiced about the closure of Highway 136, east of Maryville, for the replacement of two bridges in 2022. This will cut access from Maryville to Mozingo. McKim urged members to contact the local MoDOT offices to see if anything could be done to keep the closure time to a minimum.