Perryville discusses changing business license ordinance, food trucks

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Perryville City Council discussed amending their business license ordinance at their meeting on March 2.

The council is evaluating whether they want the license fee to be annual or one-time, what the price will be, and who all will have to pay it.

Perryville has been charging people who do business in the city $25 per year for a long time. However, the ordinance does not include that the license is a yearly fee, and it does not list the price, the deadline to receive a license, nor any late fees.

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It also does not specify whether or not vendors who only come to the city once or twice a year have to get the license. As it stands, anyone who comes into Perryville to do any type of business, including realtors, roofers, mowers, etc., have to get a license.

Mayor Carlos Miller said they are holding off on requiring current businesses to purchase a business license until the council decides what to amend in the ordinance.

Some council members argued that businesses who come in once or twice a year shouldn’t have to pay the same amount as a permanent business, and that business license fees might scare away small vendors that come in.

Others, including Councilman Mike Lankford, argued that any business, large or small, should be willing and able to afford the small fee of $25 a year in order to do business. Most cities charge for annual business licenses, and council members said that $25 is very low compared to what other cities in Kentucky charge.

Some council members said it wouldn’t be fair to make brick and mortar businesses pay for a license, when vendors like food trucks could come in and not pay anything, and possibly take customers away from brick and mortar businesses.

City Clerk Ingrid Walker said most business people in Perryville are individual proprietors, and don’t have to pay payroll taxes. She said usually the only money that the city gets from those businesses is from business licenses, and from very small net profit taxes.

Councilman Rob Kernodle said in addition, vendors who come in for events sometimes use electricity that the city pays for.

A motion was made to enforce a yearly business license for $25 per year with a deadline of Feb. 25 and 10% monthly late fee, except for vendors who come in for things like Main Street events. The motion was struck down by a vote of four to two.

The council decided to table the matter until their next meeting.

The council passed a motion to allow Main Street Perryville to use space next to the Fire Station for food truck vendors. Main Street is starting weekend summer events that will bring food trucks to the park by the Chaplin River.

Main Street will be responsible for scheduling food trucks. They will have one per weekend on Fridays and Saturdays.

The council also discussed the need for public restrooms downtown. One idea is to build restrooms on the side of the Fire Department building, and connect the plumbing to the basement of the fire house.

In other business, the council:

• Passed a motion to use some ARPA funds for the purchase of a generator for City Hall in the event of power outages. Perryville previously received a grant for purchasing a generator, which they have been applying for for years.

The total project is $68,550. The federal share of the grant is 90% at $61,695. The Kentucky Emergency Management is providing $3,290, and Perryville will provide the remaining balance of $3,564, a 5.2% matching requirement to go toward purchase of a generator. The city will use $3,564 of ARPA funds since the project wasn’t budgeted for originally.

• Agreed to purchase a new sign for City Hall for $395 from USA Signs. As it was the cheapest bid they received, the sign will not be lit up from the inside; instead the city will have to install flood lights to illuminate the sign at night.

• Passed a motion to allow Councilman Jason Pruitt to negotiate on behalf of the council with a property owner for possible purchase of land for a new firehouse.

• Passed the second reading of an ordinance amending the budget for the current fiscal year. This is to add line items like the sale of a surplus police vehicle, ARPA funds received, a cyber-security grant, and donations for police body cams and car cams, which were received in 2020 but not used for that purpose yet.