City Council passed an ordinance with updates to the previous bed and breakfast ordinance and discussed an ordinance to issue $625,000 to update the city’s water treatment building at its Tuesday meeting.
The update to the bed and breakfast ordinance that was passed several weeks ago — which requires anyone running a bed and breakfast, including Airbnb, to collect a transient guest tax that hotels and motels in the city are already required to collect — was declared an emergency and voted on early. This was necessary because the changes need to be simultaneous with the original ordinance due to complicated paperwork, Councilmember Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, said.
Councilmember Peter Kotses, D-At Large, abstained from voting on the updates, as he did in the original vote on this ordinance, because he owns commercial property. The ordinance passed 6-0 with no objections and Kotses as the only abstention.
Council read and discussed an ordinance that would issue $625,000 to pay for new machinery in the water treatment building, which was built in 1957. Councilmember Patrick McGee, I-At Large, asked to clarify for the public that the recently-built wastewater treatment plant, which is a sewer, is separate from this project. This money is not for the wastewater treatment plant, but for machinery for the treatment of the city’s drinking water.
“A lot of this is replacing the mechanicals inside the building,” Mayor Steve Patterson said. “In the 1957 building we’ve got 1957 mechanicals, so they need to be updated to state-of-the-art or at least digital controls inside the building.”
Four other ordinances were passed unanimously, including one issuing $30,000 to address complaints of a smell problem with the Depot Street lift station, one promoting several government employees from part-time to full-time and three regarding the appropriation of funds.
Both Patterson and Councilmember Jennifer Cochran, D-At Large, addressed communications they received about the city’s new recycling bins, saying they had received questions and concerns, but that many people were happy with the idea and thought the city was moving in the right direction.
The board also approved several appointments made by the mayor to various commissions and councils, and Council President Chris Knisely encouraged everyone in attendance to vote in the election Tuesday.
“Tomorrow is election day and I’m hoping that everybody who is registered to vote either has voted or will,” Knisely said. “I’m encouraging everybody to get out and vote in this important moment.”