Increasing revenue for the city highlighted a recent meeting of the Loyall City Council. A discussion was held about amending their business privilege license ordinance.
“I was looking through the ordinance and I see that the cost for each apartment building is $25, but I didn’t see anything where if you own a house and rented it is there a charge?” asked councilman Charles Lovely.
Mayor Clarence Longworth responded saying when the ordinance was last updated, he checked with the Kentucky League of Cities and they advised him you couldn’t charge for renting a home.
“In an apartment building, where there are more than one, you can,” Longworth added. “If it’s a house with apartments then we can charge them. If it’s just a house, single family, you can’t.”
Lovely inquired about people doing lawn services in the city and if they can be required to obtain a privilege license. He said he had talked with someone who does business in the city and they said they had no problem paying the fee.
“We’ve never charged a privilege license for that, but it’s getting to be a big business,” said Longworth. “This way we know who is working in the city and it will keep stragglers out. I think in the long run it will help those who are doing this as a business.”
Lovely suggested lawn care services be required to pay $25 per year for the privilege of working in the city and everyone agreed.
Councilman Elvin Smith suggested raising some of the other fees such as for doctors, which is currently set at $50.
“We don’t have one now, but we could in the future,” said Smith.
Longworth then asked council members to consider a penalty fee for those people who begin work in the city before obtaining a privilege license.
“This is getting to be a hassle,” said Longworth. “They’ll come in and go to work and think, well I’ll get the job finished before they catch me. There has never been a penalty assessed before, but I think now is the time to put one in the ordinance.”
Longworth suggested something be put in the ordinance that requires the landowner to purchase a privilege license before any work is done. He said that lets the city know a contractor is going to be doing work in the city and the city can check to make sure the contractor has obtained a privilege license.
“That would help us more than anything,” said Longworth. “That would also help the landowner, because in the past people have paid for services in advance and the people they have paid haven’t completed the work. We want something that will be fair to everyone.”
After a lengthy discussion, council members agreed to add lawn care services to the list of those required to obtain a privilege license and set that at $25. They agreed the landowner must obtain a $25 building permit when work is going to be done on their property by someone else. They also agreed to put a $25 penalty fee on everyone who does not obtain a privilege license prior to doing work in the city. The issue of landowners having to obtain a privilege license before they can perform work on their property themselves was squashed after the majority of the council agreed it would be an additional hardship on residents.
Councilman Dewayne Williams said the ordinance might include a clause that says anyone performing work in the city provide proof of who they are because some may claim they are family members doing work for free to get out of buying a privilege license.
“The thing is we have to come up with revenue somewhere,” said Longworth. “I hate to say it but things are going to get tighter. It’s not just the city of Loyall. Sometimes I feel fortunate when I talk to some of the others in the county and they tell me what sort of shape they are already in. So far, we have managed to pay all of our bills. The only bill we have that we pay on monthly is the old Loyall sewer project. We got that on 40 years — $100,000 and we have it paid down to under $60,000 in a little over five years. It’s going to get harder as we go along. If we can get a handle on it now, I think it will be a lot easier instead of waiting until we start sinking.”
In closing, Longworth told council members an amended ordinance will be prepared, sent to the Kentucky League of Cities and presented at the next meeting of the council on Nov. 9 so that council members may vote and put the changes into effect.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde