Reported by Inka Bajandas of The News-Review:
The city of Roseburg plans to use revenue earned from motel and hotel taxes to invest $100,000 in Umpqua Community College's Southern Oregon Wine Institute, based on discussion at Monday night's Roseburg City Council meeting.
UCC on July 1 asked the city of Roseburg to contribute the money to a capital campaign for the Southern Oregon Wine Institute's Danny Lang Teaching, Learning and Event Center. In response, the Roseburg Economic Development Commission recommended the city set aside $10,000 in economic development funds for each of the next five years for a total of $50,000 for the center.
The remaining $50,000 of the investment would probably be contributed through funds appropriated from the Roseburg Visitors and Convention Commission, said City Manager Eric Swanson. Both contributions come from money raised through hotel and motel taxes, he said.
Lee Paterson, president and director of the UCC foundation board, gave a presentation to the Roseburg City Council Monday evening outlining the viticulture center's economic impact on the city. Paterson, who is also chairman of the capital campaign for the center, said development of Southern Oregon's wine industry is the greatest economic opportunity since the initial rise of the timber industry. And Roseburg will be right at the center of it all, said Dennis O'Neill, UCC foundation board president.
“No city stands to gain as much in this as the city of Roseburg,” he said. “This building will be right in your area.”
City councilors responded favorably to the proposal, agreeing that it would be a worthwhile investment.
“In some ways, it's a small amount of funds that will provide a tremendous amount of benefit to our community,” City Councilor Mike Baker said.
Read more about the Southern Oregon Wine Institutes in my previous post.