When Pataskala City Councilman Grover "Chip" Fraley said last week that he wanted the city to institute a bed tax, no one knew that would be his last request.
When Pataskala City Councilman Grover "Chip" Fraley saidlast week that he wanted the city to institute a bed tax, no one knew that would be his last request.
Fraley, 52, died in his home July 23. He had left a car auction earlier that morning and had gone home, saying he wasn't feeling well, according to Pataskala police Chief Chris Forshey. Fraley later was found dead in his home by a family member.
"We do not believe there was any foul play involved," Forshey said.
An autopsy was performed July 24 and indicated natural causes. Forshey said official results from testing could take four to six weeks to complete.
In the meantime, council is expected to start considering Fraley's request.
Fraley made his request at the end of the July 21 regular council meeting, when each individual council member is polled for comment.
"Entities are moving in, and we need to have something on the books," Fraley told fellow council members.
When questioned after the meeting about which entities to which he was referring, Fraley said he knows people are interested in developing hotels in town. He wasn't specific but said the city needs to have the tax in place before they come.
Pataskala Mayor Steve Butcher said council will consider the request during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at Pataskala City Hall.
Bed taxes are collected through taxes on hotel rooms. It has to be instituted before a hotel builds in the city, Butcher said.
The Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau receives a portion of bed taxes, which are used to help promote the area.
Butcher said Fraley will be missed.
"I've lost a good friend," Butcher said and added that people don't realize how many meetings Fraley had attended for the city.
"City government really lost a key player," he said. "He was dedicated and wanted to do the right thing for the community."
Council is expected to honor Fraley during its study session prior to the next meeting. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4.
Funeral services for Fraley are at 10 a.m. Monday, July 28, at Kauber-Sammons Funeral Home in Pataskala, with Butcher officiating. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.
Calling hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be directed to City of Pataskala Police Dog Fund or Pataskala Parks and Recreation Department.
Fraley helped write the city's charter after the merger and was elected to one of the first council seats in 1997. He then was re-elected in 2005.
Council will have to appoint someone to fill Fraley's seat, which expires at the end of next year.