Gahanna City Council on Dec. 21 approved the Community Improvement Corporation's proposed budget for 2010, along with its action plan.

Gahanna City Council on Dec. 21 approved the Community Improvement Corporation's proposed budget for 2010, along with its action plan.

The CIC expects to receive the same level of bed-tax funding in 2010 to continue bringing new businesses to the city and improving development opportunities.

Anthony Jones, deputy development director for Gahanna, said the CIC is required to present to the city a budget and plan for the funding annually. The two then need to enter into an agreement to transfer bed-tax funds to the CIC.

Council members are aware of the CIC's request for bed-tax money, having heard a presentation from the CIC director during the Dec. 14 workshop. Council members did not speak against renewal of the funding at that time.

"I think the small amount of bed tax (that goes to the CIC) pays dividends over and over," Gahanna City Council President Tom Evers said during last week's committee meeting.

CIC president Rob Matney spoke to council during the committee-of-the-whole meeting Dec. 14, providing an update on the CIC's annual progress in 2009 and sharing the group's goals for 2010.

The 2009 goals were as follows:

Support the Gahanna Department of Development in marketing and promoting existing businesses and attracting new businesses.

Enhance the CIC's capacity to meet its mission.

Maximize the impact of the CIC funds.

Access new sources of funding for the CIC to implement strategic projects.

Using 0.0833 percent of the area's lodging tax, collected through stays at hotels and motels, the CIC works to complete projects the city cannot. Matney said the CIC purchased the building at 181 Granville Street and Shaw Road and has a company managing the property.

The CIC did a lot of work on the building, repairing the roof, adding a new boiler and painting the interior and exterior. The work helped to attract three new businesses to the building: 825 Technologies, Goddess Consignment Boutique and Gahanna Counseling Inc.

Matney said the building now has 11 tenants and only about 1,400 square feet left to lease. Matney's figures show the monthly combined revenue is $11,570. The CIC uses that money for future projects. The Granville Street property helped the CIC accomplish one of its goals for 2009, he said.

The CIC also intends to support existing businesses and attract new ones by working on a fiber-optics use agreement.

With the city's broadband fiber network, the CIC believes that contracting with a company that works with several service providers could help lower businesses' costs by increasing competition in the area, Matney said.

"We want to create a competitive atmosphere," he said.

Matney said it could benefit larger companies that need data storage and small businesses that could get a lower rate.

The CIC is wrapping up a fiber-optics agreement with Blue Nile Inc.

To help increase CIC revenue in the city and further city improvements, the Gahanna CIC partnered with the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation and Franklin County to acquire $2.6-million in bonds to remediate a landfill, improve Tartan East Golf Club and build the Tartan clubhouse on land called Central Park. The property and former landfill will become part of a 200-acre business campus adjacent to the Port Columbus International Airport and I-270.

Sadicka White, Gahanna's development director, said during the Dec. 14 meeting that the golf academy's construction is expected to be completed in May or June 2010.

Besides helping to develop another business campus in the city, the agreement also provides some revenue for the CIC. Matney said the Gahanna CIC would receive some revenue from the Central Ohio CIC for being the entity to take out the bonds.

Matney met with council's committee of the whole to request the same percentage of lodging tax in 2010 so the CIC could continue its work. He estimated the lodging tax could generate $32,500 for the CIC in 2010.

The CIC's 2010 action plan includes the following goals:

Continue managing property, leasing out available commercial space and recruiting new businesses to 181 Granville St.

Retain businesses at 181 Granville and in other parts of Gahanna with broadband incentives.

Highlight the successes of the CIC and partner with other agencies to provide a greater impact of the development department's marketing in the area.

Continue work with the city's development department to look at new ways of financing projects to achieve the city's goals.

Council members during the Dec. 14 committee meeting agreed to add legislation for the agreement with the CIC to the Jan. 2 council meeting. The agreement would allow the CIC to collect a portion of the lodging tax.

Lodging taxes are collected through hotel and motel rooms in the city.

Angel Mumma, Gahanna's deputy director of finance, said the estimated hotel and motel tax revenue for 2010 is $390,000. Of that, the Gahanna Convention and Visitors Bureau gets 66.7 percent, or an estimated $260,000, for 2010; the Gahanna CIC and Herb Center both get 8.3 percent, or about $32,500 each in 2010; and the city collects the remaining 16.7 percent, which is estimated at $65,000 for 2010.The CIC is a nonprofit organization formed under city legislation "for the purpose of advancing, encouraging and promoting the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of a community or area."