Monticello City Council to seek pro-business policies
by Joe Boyle
Monticello City Council discussed policies to enhance local businesses, received recreation updates, and discussed code enforcement for businesses operating without a license at their latest meeting.
The City Council looked at and discussed different code enforcement procedures during the April 25 meeting
The council extensively discussed the code enforcement of businesses operating without a license. The procedure was discussed for civil and criminal cases.
The council briefly discussed implementing a tiered fine punishment system that would see new businesses without licenses fined less than a business that had had their license revoked. The council ultimately decided to go with a clear-cut process for all businesses.
Businesses will first receive a letter from the City and have two calendar days to respond to the requests. On the third day, a letter will be sent and the business will then have seven days to acknowledge and respond.
After seven days, the City will serve a cease and desist letter and also start charging a $500 daily fine to the business while it has evidence of operation.
After 20 days, if the business is still in operation, the City will pursue action through the court system.
There was also a discussion of updating the nuisance and garbage codes, but no specific plan was made over the course of the meeting.
The City Council encouraged Assistant City Manager Megan Gallegos to update the code to cover day-to-day complaints from citizens.
The council also discussed ways to financially benefit businesses that invest money to improve their product and bring money to the Monticello economy.
The City discussed possibly implementing a Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA), or something like it, to benefit all new or past businesses rather than going on a case-by-case basis when it comes to businesses approaching the city for funding assistance.
The City still voiced its commitment to making Monticello a business-friendly place.
Councilman Ron Skinner referenced a particular “large business” in Monticello telling him they were interested in a big-time expansion in Monticello but didn’t think the City would offer support. The Council stated its interest in hearing from these businesses and encouraged businesses to reach out.
Councilman George Rice also encouraged multiple businesses to come to the Council with possible plans of how the City could fairly assist them.
During the discussion of ways to assist businesses, Mayor Bayley Hedglin said, “I want us to be business-friendly, so [what] does that look like from a municipality’s perspective.”
While no official plan for compensation was made, the City made sure its drive to support business in Monticello is clear.
Members of the Monticello City Council received updates on recreation, including the news that the city has hired Josh Nielson for the assistant recreation position.
The council also received an update on the swimming pool with a tentative opening date in mid-May, but nothing is guaranteed until the newly trained lifeguards are certified.
The city has additional repairs to make to the pool building but said those should not impact the functionality of the pool.
In other recreation news, the Hideout Golf Club opened the last weekend in April and a volunteer golf course cleaning day is scheduled for Saturday, May 6.