County now requires business licenses

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, June 24, 2021

New ordinance applies to those who already have a license from a local city

The Boyle County Fiscal Court passed a business license ordinance after making a few changes from when the first reading was held a few weeks ago.

All businesses within the county — now excluding those located within incorporated areas of Danville, Junction City, and Perryville, where business licenses are also required — must obtain a business license with the county beginning Oct. 1 of this year.

Originally stated in the first reading of the business license ordinance, even if a business had a license issued from the city, it would still have to obtain a license from the county.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting Magistrate Jamey Gay said, “They should just need one business license, one or the other.”

Magistrate Ron Short agreed, and said if a business is getting a license in one of the county’s incorporated cities they should not be “double dipped.”

Magistrate Jason Cullen also asked for changes in the fee schedule. Originally the fees for business licenses were going to be $25 annually for home-based businesses and non-profits; and $50 annually for all other businesses, trades, contractors and professionals.

Cullen said, “I’m making quick, little easy changes. I think it’s a well-written ordinance …” but he suggested, and the magistrates agreed, to changing the licenses to a one-time fee of $25 for home-based businesses and $50 for all other businesses instead of annual licenses. Non-profits will not be required to obtain a business license.

Transient business will remain the same at $200 annually. Transient businesses include: circuses; carnivals; motor sports (if not part of a sanctioned fair); food trucks; amusement, athletic contests (not school associated); and merchants selling fireworks, commercial plant vendors (not part of a bona fide farmers’ market).”

Business license requirement exemptions include farms (that file a Schedule F for income tax reporting); yard sales; vendors at farmers markets; and vendors selling Christmas trees, produce, and organic seasonal decorations.

EDA ordinance passes

The fiscal court also passed the first reading of an ordinance creating an economic development authority with Danville. However, several meetings and changes will take place before a final document is approved by the county.

City Manager Earl Coffey spoke during the fiscal court’s regular meeting on Tuesday about the city’s proposed EDA. According to the document the EDA will be created “to acquire, retain, and develop land for industrial and commercial purposes; to aid in the development and promotion of industrial sites, parks and subdivisions for accommodating industrial and commercial needs; to encourage, promote and stimulate acquisition, retention and development of land for industrial and commercial purposes by other local development organizations, both public and private.”

Coffey said, the EDA would be an alternative to the privately-owned (Boyle County) Industrial Foundation, which has worked for many years to acquire, promote and sell industrial land. He said that many surrounding communities have all types of incentive packages to attract new businesses to their area, including an EDA.

“When it comes to economic development, the fiscal court and the city commission need to overlay their ideas. You all have to work together to really be effective,” Coffey said. “It’s important for the city and county to go out with one voice. … Both parties have to do a better job to work with each other and engage each other.”

Magistrate Phil Sammons said he was in favor of investing in an EDA because the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership (EDP) hadn’t gotten the results over the past 14 years that the county had hoped for. “We’ve given the EDP a chance to develop and do what they should.”

Magistrate Tom Ellis voiced concerns about the fact that more than 800 job openings need to be filled at existing county industries and businesses and there was already lack of housing in the area. Therefore, those issues should be addressed before investing in land and enticing another industry to locate here.

Magistrate Jason Cullen said he has many questions concerning details of how the EDA would function with the county and city as partners and was reluctant to approve the first reading of the ordinance at this time. He was also concerned about how the county’s investments would be handled if the EDA dissolved at some point.

Coffey said those questions would be addressed and details about how the EDA would function would be worked out once the board and chairman were appointed. He also said meetings between the two governments would also work out how the EDA would go forward.

But before any details could be ironed out, the county needed to approve the first reading of the ordinance. “This document establishes the board.” Once established, they will sit down and talk about the bylaws and get into how the function of the EDA will work. The board will then present them to the fiscal court and city commission for approval, which will take at last eight months, Coffey said.

Magistrate John Caywood said he wanted the court to go ahead and take the first step by approving the first reading, even though the wording and details weren’t in the document yet. “If we don’t get in the starting blocks, we can’t travel anywhere.”

Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt said, “I think it’s the right first step. If in our discussions … we get a lot of concerns and issues hammered out, that shows that we are cooperating.”

The first reading passed unanimously and a meeting between the city and county to discuss the EDA will be scheduled soon.

In other business:

• The court unanimously approved Ordinance 821.0 for the “abatement of nuisances” of junked or wrecked vehicles, and junked, wrecked and uninhabitable manufactured homes on property in unincorporated areas of the county.

In other business:

• The court adopted a new administrative code.

• The court reappointed Alan Turbyfill and David Williams to three-year terms on the EDP. It also appointed Jackie Trumbo and Jennifer Taylor to the Boyle County Fire Prevention Board.