The Canal Winchester Times

Council delays action on bed-tax grant requests

Applicants are given more time to provide additional documentation to city


Canal Winchester City Council began discussion and review of 2014 bed-tax grant requests last week but decided to table action on the resolution until a more in-depth review of the application documents can be completed.

The city's bed tax revenue is shared between a grant program and Destination: Canal Winchester, which serves as Canal Winchester's convention and visitors bureau.

Each year, Destination: Canal Winchester receives $30,000 and then, depending on total collections, the rest is distributed through the grant program to various organizations requesting help. The money allocated to Destination: Canal Winchester is intended to be used to attract visitors into the community, according to Councilman Steve Donahue.

This year's applicants were asked to provide evidence of how previous years' grants were spent, if they received a grant last year, and documentation showing how this year's funds would be spent.

However, city Finance Director Amanda Jackson said, this year's applicants did not fully comply with those requirements.

By tabling the resolution, council members hope to give the applicants who met the initial deadline time to provide the necessary documentation so council can decide whether to approve the grants.

"I think all of the applicants need to have more documentation of where their money is going and it should be copies of their receipts," Mayor Michael Ebert said.

According to Jackson, even though there was increased interest among community groups in applying for grants, the actual number of applications was down from previous years.

In 2013, applicants made requests for a total of $39,000 with $24,500 being awarded.

This year, Jackson reported applicants had asked for a total of $25,275 and she recommended awarding $20,275.

The Canal Winchester Area Historical Society and National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame asked for $15,000 but was recommended to receive $10,000.

Canal Winchester Relay for Life sought $2,500 and was recommended to receive the entire amount.

The Canal Winchester Art Guild requested $1,325 and was recommended to receive that amount.

Canal Winchester Human Services & Community Food Pantry asked for $1,500 and was recommended to receive that amount.

The Canal Winchester Alumni Scholarship Association asked for $1,000 but was recommended to receive $2,000.

The Senior Citizens Club requested $1,500 but was recommended for $500.

The Rotary Club of Canal Winchester asked for $2,450 and was recommended to receive the entire amount.

Council will reconsider approval of the tabled resolution after reviewing any update information. This could happen as soon as the March 3 council meeting.