CHIPLEY - A new tourism report shows economic growth directly related to the industry.
Washington County Tourist Development Director Heather Lopez presented a Visit Florida economic data report at Thursday's workshop.
The 2016-2017 year-over-year report showed a three percent increase in visitor spending, as well as a five percent job growth created by visitor spending. The report also showed about 100 new jobs created related directly to tourism.
Total visitor spending increased by about $800,000.
In addition to the report, Lopez also touted the revenue report.
"I was really shocked," Lopez said. "The revenue that we got in - that $17,650.38 - we're 82 percent above last year. Still, this ... is actually our number from June. I figured we were going to see a decline in revenue in June, but apparently, we must still have some contractors and workers that are staying here and possibly working in other counties."
Council members attributed the bedtax growth to spill over from Bay and other hurricane impacted counties, where hotels are more expensive than local ones.
The current budget still does not reflect the $48,000 reimbursement from the Visit Florida grant the TDC received for post-hurricane marketing.
Also at the meeting, Washington County Tourist Development Council approved the reappointment of a number of seats.
Charles Kent for Seat 1, Ted Everett for Seat 4, and Bill Maphis for Seat 7 all received approval for four-year terms. Maphis and David Rich were reappointed chair- and vice-chairman.
Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Nicole Barefield, also Publisher at Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser, submitted a grant application for the maximum amount of $1,000 for a chamber-hosted event, BBQ in the Pines. The event will be held Oct. 12 at Hard Labor Creek in Vernon.
And, as a part of the 3 percent pay raise for county employees, as well as a longevity raise, the council approved pay increase of about $1,000 for Lopez, the TDC director. The budget will be updated in October as the county meets down the exact amount for its individual employees.
In other business, council members praised the Washington County Sheriff's Office inaugural rodeo.
"Kudos to Washington County for putting that facility back in condition," said member David Rich. "It was just impressive - the county did itself proud and so did the sheriff's office,"
The next workshop and meeting will be held 8 a.m. Nov. 14 at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce building.