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Lincoln strengthens business regulations

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 2:01 a.m.
 

Lincoln officials have a message for business owners — follow the rules and pay your taxes or you will not be doing business in the borough.

Council on Tuesday approved advertising an ordinance that would strengthen the borough's laws regarding revocation of borough-issued licenses, regulating operations and imposing penalties for violations.

The formal adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for next month.

“It's basically intended to give more teeth to the borough, and show the business owners that we expect them to be pretty much model citizens of the borough,” Solicitor Falco Muscante said.

Muscante said businesses must adhere to certain regulations — such as recyclers and scrapyards maintaining fences — in order to keep their licenses to operate.

Businesses not in compliance with the ordinance can be fined up to $1,000 per day, and incarceration penalties can occur should a business owner continue to work without a license. A business can be padlocked, as well.

“The goal is to not drive any business out of the borough or to shut down any business,” Muscante said. “The goal is to get them to comply with what they need to do to operate and pay their taxes and permit fees. We're not trying to discourage businesses from coming to the borough.”

“We don't want one business to operate outside of the law while all the other businesses are operating correctly,” council president Mark Betzner said. “That's not fair to the folks operating legitimate businesses. One (bad) apple spoils the whole batch.”

Council approved advertising an ordinance regarding stray and feral cats. It's designed to hold residents, who feed and attempt to care for such animals, accountable for getting them spayed or neutered and providing rabies shots. Borough officials said programs exist to help offset costs.

The borough is selling a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 ST four-wheel-drive pickup truck and a 2010 Chevrolet Impala four-door police vehicle.

Council adopted an ordinance amending the sewer charges for the Patterson Hill Project.

The borough is passing on sewage fee hikes from the Elizabeth Borough Municipal Authority to those residents connected to its system. The area involves less than 15 homes along Mable Drive.

Changes include going from quarterly to monthly billing, setting the rates from $20 per 2,000 gallons to $23 per 2,000 gallons and from $7 per extra 1,000 gallons to $7.25 per extra 1,000 gallons.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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