Despite an aggressive push from council member David Norstrom, Worthington City Council will continue to fund the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Worthington.

Despite an aggressive push from council member David Norstrom, Worthington City Council will continue to fund the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Worthington.

At their regular meeting Monday, Dec. 7, council members reviewed an annual ordinance allocating funds to the bureau.

The bureau is funded by the collection of a 6 percent lodging tax assessed by hotels in Worthington. Of those funds, 66 percent go toward the bureau and the remaining amount goes into the city's general fund.

That 66 percent would be an expected $141,500 in 2016, an increase from the 2015 figure of a little more than $133,000.

At council's Nov. 9 meeting, Norstrom made it clear he did not support the continued funding of the bureau. He reiterated that opinion at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Norstrom asserted the bureau had not done enough with the funding, and that work done in collaboration with Experience Columbus could be completed by another organization with less funding.

He cited Experience Columbus's help with organizing bus tours to Worthington as one of the areas where the bureau defers its work.

"I feel this organization has served its purpose and that we are not a destination," he said. "We found out the bus tours are not ... managed by the CVB and are managed by Columbus. ... The work they do should be combined with the Old Worthington Partnership, who could coordinate with Columbus and free up $140,000."

Norstrom said groups such as the Ohio Railway Museum could better use the funds, and that he "could go further" in detailing specific financial concerns such as the bureau's spending "$2,100 to process $50,000 in salaries," but declined to do so.

Council member Doug Smith was the group's most vocal advocate.

While Norstrom sent a letter to council explaining his position, Smith sent out an email explaining his side.

In it, he explained what he believed was the group's importance and told council members that the city was getting a return on its investment.

"In addition to the organic digital visitors and resulting physical visitors, the CVB does an excellent job developing relationships that are necessary to adequately capitalize on the leads generated by Experience Columbus," he wrote.

Ultimately, council agreed with Smith. Council members voted 6-1 to approve the continued funding, with Norstrom the lone vote against the funding.