Hanford's visitor agency may get their funding cut

November 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An agency, whose goal is to bring in tourists and money into the city of Hanford, may get their funding cut.

The Hanford Visitors Agency has its office downtown but for the months of December and January it will be temporarily closed so it can save money.

As the city looks to make some serious budget cuts, the agency is hoping they will still get funding so they can keep their doors open.

Dave Jones is the only full-time employee of the Hanford Visitors Agency. Sometimes, to keep the city-funded organization from going in the hole, he says he doesn't pay himself.

"We're running about $3 thousand a quarter negative. Keep in mind we're nonprofit so it's not like we have reserves."

Jones says the city's budget for the Hanford Visitor Agency has already gone down 22-percent over the last five years. This year he says some councilmembers suggested cutting funding all together.

While the city looks at a new funding plan, Dave Jones is closing the doors at the visitor's agency to save money during December and January. He hopes officials see the nonprofits worth to the city.

Jones told Action News, "Well we have brought this year alone over 14,000 people to town just to ride the carousel and the fire truck there are a lot more people that show up than that but we don't have the resources and the funds to track those."

Visitors' main attractions when they come to town, an historic fire truck and carousel, plus Superior Dairy, the bastille and the old courthouse, which is where the Hanford Visitors Agency has its office.

But a big issue the city has with the agency, insurance costs. Some council members have suggested the liability of the carousel and fire truck warrant a better insurance plan, but that would cost the agency thousands of dollars it doesn't have. Moving forward, the city manager says he wants to work on a new agreement.

Darrel Pyle said, "I think we've had a good positive relationship and i'm very much interested in working with Mr. Jones."

Friday the city manager will be sitting down with the Hanford Visitors Agency to talk about an agreement. He'll also be taking a tour of the city to see what the visitor's agency has to offer.


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