An estimated $20,000 could be added into the city of Marietta's general fund by the end of this year, thanks to a memorandum of understanding approved by Marietta City Council Thursday.
The MOU is with the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau whose executive director, Jeri Knowlton, announced in October that the city could keep the bureau's share of any hotel/motel tax revenue above what the CVB had already budgeted for September through December of this year.
"We're receiving a windfall from our bed tax, which is split between the city's general fund and the CVB. The bureau has agreed to reimburse the city any portion of the bed tax that exceeds their budgeted amount through the end of this year," Councilman Mike McCauley explained Thursday.
The city splits the 6 percent bed tax 50/50 with the CVB, and appropriated $270,000 from the 2012 municipal budget for the bureau from this year's projected tax revenue.
But by the end of September the tax had already generated $278,873, according to the city auditor.
At the end of that month the CVB gave the additional $8,873 back to the city for the municipal general fund.
Marietta City Council's finance committee is scheduled to meet from 2 to 4 p.m. today in the second floor conference room at 304 Putnam St. to begin deliberations on the 2013 municipal budget.
All council and committee meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public.
More city information is available at http://www.mariettaoh.net/
Law director Paul Bertram III said through the end of October the CVB had returned about $11,000 to the city, and he estimated that figure would grow to around $20,000 by the end of this year.
He added that the city would work out a similar MOU with the bureau for all 12 months of 2013.
"This is a real positive for the city," said Councilman Tom Vukovic, who chairs council's finance committee.
He thanked Knowlton and the CVB board for the act of goodwill.
"This will increase the amount of money coming into the general fund and is especially appreciated as we're looking at financial cuts coming from the state level in the next year," Vukovic said.
In other business Thursday, council approved an agreement to loan 12 murals depicting the beginning of the Northwest Territory, completed for the city in 1936 and 1937 by artist William Mark Young, to the local Friends of the Museum group.
The paintings have been located at Marietta's City Hall since the building was constructed. But the facility is slated to undergo some major renovations after the municipal court moved out of the building and into its new location on Third Street in June.
Earlier this year, Jean Yost with Friends of the Museum proposed moving the murals to the Campus Martius Museum where they would be placed on exhibit while the city hall renovation work is done.
Lands, buildings and parks committee chairman Harley Noland noted Thursday that before the paintings are loaned to the museum they will be sent to Columbus for cleaning and restoration. Several had been temporarily on display at the museum for an event but will now be sent to Columbus as well.
He said the value of the murals has been assessed at $80,000.
"I hope this agreement will represent a win-win for everyone concerned," Noland said. "Many people have never seen these paintings, and we hope it will help attract more visitors to the museum."
McCauley noted that plastic coverings were placed over the murals to help preserve them during a past administration, but the paintings are barely visible through those coverings.
Those covers will be removed when the murals go on display at the museum next year.
Also on Thursday, council approved a sewer rate increase that will add an extra $2.84 to the typical bi-monthly bill for a customer using 500 cubic feet of water per month.
In addition the city administration has approved a water rate increase adding $2 per billing period on the typical bi-monthly bill for customers using the same amount of water per month, while water customers living outside the city will pay an additional $3 every two months.
McCauley, chairman of the water, sewer and sanitation committee, noted the city had not increased those rates in 2011 and 2012.
The new rates become effective Jan. 1.