Turlock, Chamber come to terms on CVB dispute


TURLOCK — The city of Turlock and the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors have come to a tentative agreement on a dispute concerning the Turlock Chamber of Commerce’s management of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The dispute was over claims by the city that the Chamber failed to follow financial guidelines set up by the CVB contracts. The substance of the disagreement was over the interpretation of the agreement relating to the exact amount of compliant expenses.

Under the terms of the reimbursement agreement, the Turlock Chamber of Commerce will pay the city $202,500 in $675 per month installments for 25 years. The Chamber will also provide the city with a free membership in the chamber for the next 25 years. The chamber also implemented organizational reforms last year.

“This agreement has increased our financial accountability to both the taxpayer and the business community,” Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth said in a release announcing the agreement. “As public officials, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, in this case, this high standard was not met by both parties between 2010 and 2014.”

Both the Turlock and the Chamber believe ending the dispute was in their best interests.

“With this agreement, the Chamber and the city reaffirm the importance of a strong relationship between the city and the Chamber of Commerce.” Chamber Chairman Lazar Piro said in a release. “The Chamber exists to  support Turlock’s business  community, and to work with the city in connection with business development, expansion and retention.”

The agreement will have to be approved by the city council which will consider the terms during its March 1 meeting.

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