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New Lebanon County tourism agency taking shape

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Lebanon County's new tourism team has about 25 people interested in serving on the organization's board, according to Mary Foltz, chairwoman of the county's tourism transition team.

Foltz said the new board will have between nine and 15 people, and the county’s new tourism promotion agency will be formed as a 501(c)(6), a tax-exempt business league.

The transition team has been meeting since the spring to design the model for the county’s new tourism promotion agency. The county disbanded its tourism promotion agency in April because of entanglements with the Lebanon Valley Expo Center and to have more control over how the county’s hotel tax revenue was spent.

The transition team met with state tourism officials already to discuss disbursement of hotel tax funds.

Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz said that, while the county is in transition with its tourism agency, there is still an eye on county visitors. The website continues to be updated and 40,000 tourism brochures have been printed and will be sent out to businesses and other promotional venues.

“Tourism is not being neglected during this period,” she said.

There will be a public meeting Aug. 18 at the Lebanon County Courthouse to take input on what the new agency should look like.

Commissioners have said they would like a new tourism agency in place by early September.

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