Bed tax, new PIO, hotel on Galion Council agenda

Bed taxes, a public information officer position and a new hotel were only a few of the topics discussed during the Galion City Council’s first meeting of 2016.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said he wants council to consider decreasing the city’s bed tax.

“We have the largest bed tax in the area,” said O’Leary.

The city’s bed tax is at six percent while other cities, such as Bucyrus, have a bed tax of five percent or lower.

“We have decisions to be made. The bed tax is instrumental in getting the new hotel off on the right foot,” said O’Leary.

The laws and ordinances, zoning and permits development committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 to consider the bed tax issue.

O’Leary said the newly created position of a public information officer for the city is closer to being filled.

“Each of the applicants will be required to do a presentation of the work they have done. We have six applicants that have scheduled interviews beginning Monday,” said O’Leary.

O’Leary also said during his report to council that the police department is at full capacity.

“The detective bureau now has three officers instead of two. The bureau addresses drug issues and related property crimes,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said that since the department is fully staffed, plans are being made with Galion City Schools to provide a resource officer.

“Schools are safer in this area than in others but having a trained professional with years of experience in the schools is safer than armed staff,” said O’Leary.

Council approved four pieces of legislation including one ordinance related to material bids that is routine at the beginning of each new year and an amending of appropriations for 2016.

“We were so focused on the thousands we did not look at the hundreds,” said city auditor Brian Treisch of an oversight of $740 out of $980,000.

The next council meeting will be held on Jan. 26 at the Galion Municipal Building.

By Kimberly Gasuras

Galion Inquirer