MARIETTA - An estimated $20,000 could be added into 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 the city could keep the bureau's share of hotel/motel tax revenue above what the CVB had 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 said 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 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.
* 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 a month.
* 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 a month, while water customers living outside the city will pay an additional $3 every two months.
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 at Marietta's City Hall since the building was constructed. But the facility is slated to undergo 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 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.
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.