LaFayette addresses business license issue
Published 10:12 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024
The LaFayette council called a special meeting on Monday to discuss an issue the city faces with business licensing.
With a vacancy for the LaFayette police department receptionist position and the contract for the city’s firm that handles business licenses expiring soon, the council is hoping to combine the jobs.
LaFayette PD has been without a receptionist, whose job entails administrative duties, like filing and handling walk-ins, for quite a while. At the same time the contract Avenue Insight, a firm that handles the filing and renewing of business licenses in the city, is set to expire. The council would like to bring the job of overseeing business licensure back into the city.
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Members of the city council agreed to explore the option of adding the responsibility of business licensing to the Police Department job. While the complete job description has not been flushed out, council members agreed to get the ball rolling on the creation of this position.
The position would deal with individuals and businesses filing and renewing licenses, however, there is another issue of enforcement to consider. Mangram said many businesses or contractors forgo a license to do business in LaFayette to save on the cost. They can often get away with this because the city does not have a full-time code enforcer.
The police department is currently the enforcer but does not have the resources to track all of these businesses down.
[Police] are our eyes for the weekend. Around here, [businesses and contractors] jump on it on the weekend. Because they know nobody is really watching,” Mangram said.
Typically, if businesses are caught without a license, the police would make them apply for one. However, councilman Ennis said there needs to be a penalty for businesses that break the rules, past the cost of buying a license.
They are hoping to help with enforcement by having other visible markers showing the business can do work in LaFayette.
For example, Mangam said stickers or hang tags signifying licensure should be visible on all business vehicles, so police can simply look at the tag, instead of questioning drivers about the status of their business license.
Before adjourning the meeting the council set up another meeting for next Monday to meet with the City Clerk. Councilmember Terry Mangram said they should have someone hired for the new position by the end of February.