The Effingham City Council was introduced to six new employees at Tuesday’s meeting.
On his first official day in the post, Chief of Police Jeff Fuesting introduced four new officers. They are Ryan Holsapple, Daniel Dust, Derek DePoister, and Jason Gouchenouer.
Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy also swore in new part-time firefighter, Jessica Meyer. Additionally, the council met new city customer service rep Amy Beckman.
In other action, the City Council approved a resolution that allows the purchase of property from Irene’s Dream, LLC with a $135,000 price tag. The property is being acquired as part of the new Effingham Police Station project.
Discussion was also had on the city’s amusement tax. The tax has been on the books for some time but has not been enforced.
“We were having a lot of users that were excluded that shouldn’t be excluded,” said City Administrator Jim Arndt. “We had people that were putting on events, on a single year occasion or twice a year occasion, that weren’t paying the tax.”
The ordinance will require organizations putting on events in Effingham to get a licence with the city. Groups who only hold events annually will be required to pay the 5% tax on ticket sales up front. Organizations who regularly hold events will pay the tax monthly.
Arndt says that the tax will be used to provide support for businesses putting on events. “We annually get requests from organizations, that put events, on for money,” Arndt said. “This is going to give us a tool to have that.” Previously money had been taken from the city’s Tourism Fund to fiance events in town. However, as that fund continues to operate on a deficit alternative revenue sources must be found.
Arndt discusses the proposed changes to the amusement tax
Arndt is not concerned that the tax will be a deterrent for groups putting on events if Effingham, because it is one of the few municipalities that doesn’t already enforce one in the state. The city council will likely vote the ordinance at the meeting later this month.