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County approves extending motel tax for 3 more years

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2017 at 8:33 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature extended the motel tax for another three years. The “occupancy tax” is an additional 4 percent tax at motels, bed and breakfasts, lodges and vacation rentals.

The revenue is used to support the county’s tourism department. The revenue from the motel tax has been growing in recent years, and the county expects more growth with a new hotel coming to Medina.

The county’s budgeted amount for the motel tax has grown from $27,500 in 2015, $33,000 in 2016, $39,000 in 2017 to $42,000 tentatively budgeted for 2018.

The county started a 4 percent tax on lodging in 2004. The extension lasts until Dec. 31, 2020.

BriMark Builders has proposed a new 58-room hotel, Cobblestone Inn and Suites, on Maple Ridge Road in Medina, next to Pride Pak and almost across the street from Genesee Community College. County officials expect the hotel to open late in 2018.

In other action during Wednesday’s meeting, the Legislature:

• Approved purchasing Taser equipment for six probation officers from Axon Enterprises Inc. The five-year agreement includes $1,762 the first year and $2,232 annually in years two through five for a total contract of $10,690 over five years.

• Approved a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for $5,069 for matching funds to purchase bullet-proof vests for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved an agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and Voiance Language Services of Tucson, AR. The company will provide over-the-phone translation and interpretation services at 75 cents per minute on an as needed basis for three years.

• Authorized using a $1,990 grant for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase child safety seats from the Evenflo Company.

• Authorized Dale Banker, director of the Emergency Management Office, to spend $186,099 in a State Homeland Security Grant from 2016 for the following: $161,358 for Harris Radio 800 MHz radio system equipment and software upgrades to Finger Lakes Communications; $11,550 for installation, programming and testing of both AES Encryption and Phase 2 TDMA to Radio Technologies; and $13,191 for annual hardware and software maintenance agreement at the Emergency Management Office.

• Authorized filling the vacant full-time director position for Weights and Measures.

• Appointed the following to two-year terms on the Oak Orchard Watershed Board: Ed Morgan, the chairman from the Soil and Water Conservation District; Guy Smith of Albion; Peter Smith of Albion; and Jon Peglow of Barre.

• Appointed the following to the County Planning Board: Kevin Johnson of Clarendon, Russell Bosch of Clarendon (alternate), Andrew Kludt of Kendall, Monica Seeler of Holley (alternate), Gary Daum of Yates and Ed Urbanik of Yates (alternate).

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