Canal Winchester groups share $23,500 in bed-tax grants

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
City of Canal Winchester

Canal Winchester City Council awarded 2021 bed-tax grants to more than a dozen nonprofit or private organizations as one of its final acts of 2020. 

Money from the transient-occupancy tax-grant program – its more formal name – helps fund projects that will “enhance Canal Winchester for its residents and visitors,” according to city guidelines.  

Funding reached $23,500 in 2020, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. 

“Our criteria with this were very simple: It was either humanitarian- or tourism-based,” said Councilman Pat Lynch, one of three council members who reviewed the applications. “We were very generous with most of these.” 

Organizations receiving $2,000 included: 

• BrockStrong Foundation for the purchase of champions’ shirts for the 2021 BrockStrong Labor Day Baseball Tournament. 

• Canal Village for basic needs and emergency kits for 47 older adults. 

• Canal Winchester After-Prom Committee for inflatables and security. 

• Canal Winchester Historical Society for designing, updating and printing historical society and National Barber Museum brochures. 

• Canal Winchester Art Guild for its 2021 mural project. 

• Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival for advertising for the 100th and 101st annual festivals. 

• Friends for Life Animal Haven for the City Kitty roundup and trap-neuter-return-adoption program. 

• Indians Cross Country Boosters for the 2021 Dr. John Bender 5K Classic. 

• Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10523 for the 2021 Veterans Day celebration. 

Those receiving $1,500 included the Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce for marketing the 2021 Running Scared 5K; Canal Winchester Human Services for various community events, such as the Easter egg hunt, senior prom, senior lunch and more; and the Miss Canal Winchester Pageant queens luncheon. Receiving $1,000 was Learning Spectrum South PTO for equipment. 

The bed tax is collected at a rate of 6%. 

As of November 2020, the grant fund amounted to more than $183,000, according to city Finance Director Amanda Jackson, who said collections have grown since the opening of the DogHouse hotel adjacent to the U.S. headquarters of Scottish beer-maker BrewDog in 2018 and a 93-room Hampton Inn on West Waterloo Street in 2019. 

Bed-tax collections are divided evenly between the general fund and the bed-tax fund, according to the city’s hotel/motel tax ordinance. The bed-tax fund is then split again, with half going to Destination: Canal Winchester and the rest to a fund controlled by City Council, which awards grants. 

Council committed $50,000 to Destination: Canal Winchester in 2021. 

The Canal Winchester Economic Development Committee (CWICC) also could receive funding for façade grants for downtown businesses to help improve the area’s appearance, Councilwoman Jill Amos said. 

“CWICC has not had grants in a long time that they could use in the community,” she said. “We just feel like if we’re going to invest in our community, that is one of the best ways we can do that.” 

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