With financial concerns being foremost on everyones mind these days, Newcomerstown Village Council also has its own worries and is currently considering a way to improve the villages financial status.

Village Fiscal Officer,Kim Meek recently provided council members with information concerning potential revenue through bed taxes that can be generated from the local hotel/motel trade. Meek gathered information at the direction of Mayor Jim Friel earlier last month and presented the information at councils regular session on Jan. 23. Meek reported that according to information from the Tuscarawas County Auditors Office if the village were to implement the local hotel/motel tax (also known as a bed tax) the village could generate as much as $43,500 extra.

Meek said that if the village approves the ordinance for the bed taxes that each hotel/motel located in the village limits would charge an additional 3 percent which would automatically be forfeited to the village of Newcomerstown. Currently, hotel/motels are already charging a 3 percent county tax that the village only receives a 10 percent portion of. The remaining 90 percent goes to the Tuscarawas County Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Meek said if the village decides to implement the local bed tax that they will no longer be eligible to receive the 10 percent from the county tax that is collected from the hotel/motel taxes, but instead would receive the full 3 percent from the local bed tax.

An estimate received by Meek from the auditors office for 2011 tax figures shows that the village would have received approximately $4,300 for the twelve months in 2011 from the county taxes that are collected through the hotel/motel taxes. If the village adopts the ordinance for the local bed tax they would receive $43,500 (the full 3 percent), nearly a $40,000 difference.

Meek said she has spoken with two other area municipalities, namely Uhrichsville and Sugarcreek, that have approved the local bed taxes and they reported seeing positive results with their implementation of the local bed tax ordinance.

Village council briefly discussed the bed tax ordinance at the recent regular session this past Monday night. Mayor Friel recommended that the matter be turned over to the finance committee for further review before council makes their decision to consider the ordinance. Council members were agreeable to Friels suggestion.

Other business discussed at the Feb. 6 regular session included:

Safety Committee Chairman Jim Carr said the committee, along with Police Chief Gary Holland ,will begin having monthly safety meetings on the first Monday (prior to the first council session each month) at 6:15 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center. The meetings are open to the public.

Council approved a mowing ordinance with ODOT for mowing and maintenance to the areas along US 36 where it dissects through Newcomerstown.

Council entered into an hour and 17-minute executive session mid-way into the regular session to discuss personnel and contracts.

Following a third reading, council approved the contract for professional services for Mayors Court Magistrate. Attorney Patrick Deboer will continue as Mayors Court Magistrate, with no changes in the previous contractual agreements.

Second reading was given on the Tuscarawas County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Following discussion on an oil and gas lease for the village, council member Dave Hickman suggested council needed to review the matter further and gather more information. Council member Carr made the motion to table the matter until further information is received.

Mayor Friel said AEP will soon be replacing the metal light poles on Main Street with wooden utility poles. Mayor Friel said a plan for the Main Street revitalization committee to look into the possible purchase of more decorative light poles for Main Street in the near future.

Council declined a timbering offer for the Mulvane property (located on the south side of Park Hill).

Council approved Mayor Friel to check on the specifics for a village trash pick-up project.

Council approve abolishment of the village labor pool which was deemed no longer feasible to the village.

Council approved Dave Seibert to be moved from the previous labor pool to Street Tech Class I.

Councils next meeting will be Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.