The Grove City Council voted unanimously to put a .05 percent hotel/motel tax before voters in January at a regular meeting Tuesday night.

City Manager Bruce Johnson said the measure would bring the city approximately $215,000 in new revenue per year.

The tax would apply to hotel and motel rooms as well as RV sites, Johnson explained.

It would not apply to permanent residents.

Permanent residents are defined in the proposal as people residing in Grove for more than 30 days.

“We are fortunate to have a natural tourism industry in Grove,” Johnson said, adding that Grove can use that base to further benefit the community.

Johnson said that if the proposal passes, the new revenue would be used to boost tourism, industry, and economic development.

The proposal will be brought before the voters on January 13, 2009.

In other business, the council voted to grant amnesty to residents who are using unauthorized water taps until March 31, 2009.

“We are giving them a carrot before using a stick,” Johnson explained.

Grove Municipal Services Authority recently purchased leak detection equipment that will soon be installed throughout the entire water system.

Johnson said that approximately 50 percent of the city’s treated water is unaccounted for every month.

“A portion of that is due to leakage and a portion of it is due to unauthorized taps,” Johnson said.

From now till March 31, citizens with unauthorized taps may come forward and be treated as new utility customers.

However, beginning in April, anyone caught with an unauthorized tap will be prosecuted civilly and criminally.

The council also voted to turn management of Grove Emergency Management over to Delaware County.

Johnson said the city will continue to own the equipment and will keep the office in Grove, but that the county will be responsible for maintenance and personnel.

The deal includes a yearly outlay of $50,000 by the city, which Johnson said is less than what is currently being paid to maintain that department.

He explained that if the city is not happy with the way the money is spent with the service provided, it will be reimbursed and the agreement will be dissolved within 30 days.

The new director, Robert Real, will be required to meet with Johnson on a monthly basis.

In other business, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Friden gave a quarterly report. She said the Chamber has sponsored 15 ribbon cuttings and that visitor inquiries to the Chamber have increased by eight percent. In addition, she reported that the Chamber has received 100 more relocation calls this quarter and has gotten 1,300 hits on its website.

During a public hearing regarding city cemeteries, Planning and Zoning Chairman Judith Read asked council members to consider making space in the new Olympus cemetery for pets.

Grove City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Room 5 of the Grove Community Center.