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BED TAX FOR HOTEL USE IS ON COUNCIL AGENDA AGAIN

For the second time in as many years, city lawmakers are looking at the possibility of imposing a bed tax on hotel patrons.

City Council President Michael Mistretta said the Finance Committee is exploring what steps would be needed for such a tax.

"Is it really contingent on what takes place with the county?" he asked. "Is it contingent upon the city? Could the city do this on its own? Or would the city need to have authorization from the county or the state?"

Mistretta said Monday night that the Council will consider a measure next Monday that would ask Chautauqua County to propose a hotel tax.

If there is no interest in such a tax at the county level, he said, the city would determine what must be done to impose one locally.

City officials did not say how much revenue they would hope to raise.

Two years ago, city lawmakers reviewed a "bed" or "occupancy" tax as a possibility for raising $75,000 in revenue, but the tax never materialized after being opposed by the tourism industry at the county level.

On Monday, the Council will act on a resolution to amend the current mutual-aid public works agreement with the county.

Public Works Director Jeffrey Lehman said the amendment would be added to the contract the county now has with several municipalities.

"It's for doing maintenance work on their signalized intersections," he said. "The county has four intersections in southern Chautauqua County. They really don't have staffing to maintain those types of things. They have to get a consultant to come in."

On another matter, the city is to receive $48,000 in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for cleanup from the Nov. 20 snowstorm. City officials said the money will be used to repair Sixth Street from Washington Street to the Sixth Street Bridge.

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