The Canal Winchester Times

Bed tax disbursements earn council approval

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Canal Winchester City Council approved bed tax disbursements at its March 3 meeting, after delaying action on the requests last month and meeting individually with the groups seeking money in order to better understand the purpose of their fund requests for 2014.

Revenue from the city's 6-percent bed tax is shared between a grant program and Destination: Canal Winchester, which serves as the city's convention and visitors bureau.

Each year, Destination: Canal Winchester receives $30,000 and then, depending on total collections from the 6-percent tax, the rest is distributed through the grant program to various organizations requesting help.

The money allocated to Destination: Canal Winchester is intended for use in attracting visitors to the community, according to Councilman Steve Donahue.

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

One of her recommendations was that the Senior Citizens Club receive $500 instead of the $1,500 it had requested.

Council agreed March 3 to give the club its entire requested amount, with stipulations.

Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon asked that the club receive the total amount so it can put together a Veterans Day event this year, including a breakfast fundraiser and possible fireworks display.

After discussion, the rest of council agreed, with the understanding that any unused money will be returned to the city.

"We'll approve all grants as is recommended, except for the Senior Citizens Club which we'll approve for up to $1,500, pending their further planning and details, and then they'll return what isn't used," Councilman Rick Deeds said.

Other organizations receiving bed tax grants are:

* The Canal Winchester Area Historical Society and National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame, $10,000.

* Canal Winchester Relay for Life, $2,500.

* Canal Winchester Art Guild, $1,325.

* Canal Winchester Human Services & Community Food Pantry, $1,500.

* Canal Winchester Alumni Scholarship Association, $2,000.

* Rotary Club of Canal Winchester, $2,450.

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