Galion City Council is organized and ready to take on the new year.
The council met Monday evening for their annual organizational meeting and voted unanimously to appoint current council clerk Julie Bell to remain in her position for another two years. The council also appointed Gail Baldinger to act as president pro tem if it is necessary for council president Carl Watt to be absent at any council meetings in the new year.
Mayor Tom O’Leary has one issue he wants council to consider right away-the city’s bed tax.
“Our bed tax is six percent, which is higher than surrounding areas. The bed tax for Bucyrus is only five percent,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary said the city’s bed tax had been at three percent for many years but another three percent was added in 2008.
Council member Sarah Capretta heads up the laws and ordinances, zoning and permits development committee that will consider two proposals regarding the bed tax when they meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19.
“We can either approve legislation to repeal the bed tax altogether to allow the county commissioners to add a three percent county wide bed tax for tourism or we can repeal the second three percent tax that was put on in 2008. It is designated to be used for a tourism or convention bureau but since we do not currently have one, the money just sits in an account because it cannot be used for anything else,” Capretta said.
O’Leary said the reduction of the bed tax will also help facilitate plans for a Quality Inn hotel to be constructed on the northwest corner at Ohio 598 and Brandt Road.