City seeks lodging funds applicants

By John Hamilton -

WILMINGTON — Citizens now have an official way to apply for the Hotel Lodging Tax funds.

At Thursday’s meeting, Wilmington City Council performed the final readings for the grant application guide for the City Revitalization Grant during the Judiciary Committee report.

“I’m pleased that we finally have a resolution,” said Judiciary Chair Matt Purkey. “I feel like a year and a half later we have an actual prosecutorial in place. Now it’s up to the community to use it.”

Council member Jonathan McKay encourages citizens to apply for it if they can because they don’t want “to sit on these funds.”

The Lodging Tax was established in 1997 and imposes a 3-percent tax on lodging transactions within the city limits. In 2017, the council established a new fund to disperse the retained portions of the tax funds, called the Retained Hotel Lodging Tax Fund.

“The purpose of the fund is to support local initiatives that will positively impact economic and community development as well as improvement to quality of life within the city of Wilmington,” according to the application guide.

Eligible projects are ones that “attempt to bring patronage to Wilmington businesses, promote heritage and attractions, and to contribute to the quality of life for those residing within the city.”

Projects/events that are ineligible include one held outside the city’s corporate limits and ones already completed prior to funding approval. Those seeking funding for operating costs of established events or projects — new or expanded ideas or features of established events or projects — are eligible.

To get approved by the committee, they would have to achieve a certain score through a rubric of the city.

Also during council:

• Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker shared that he and the city’s attorneys had a small meeting with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ attorneys that afternoon.

He said he couldn’t share much about the meeting, but said ODNR was still working with the city on resolving the billing issues with the ODNR and Army Corps of Engineers.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574