Murfreesboro Council approves new ordinance

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – With a unanimous vote, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved a new ordinance that will require registrations for town businesses.

The decision was made at their regular meeting on May 24.

As noted by Town Attorney Cecelia Jones, the state did away with similar license requirements a few years ago, so the new ordinance repeals the town’s now-defunct regulations and replaces them with the business registration.

“I researched quite a bit and compared to six different towns that had business registrations,” Jones said about drafting the ordinance.

The purpose of the ordinance is to have up-to-date records for the use of buildings in town and the commercial purposes of businesses as well as to assist with fire and police protection.

“It’s good knowing who’s where,” Jones explained. “That way if somebody needs assistance, we know who to contact.”

“This is very important from a 911 perspective,” agreed council member David Brown. “I think this is a very good thing.”

As defined by the new ordinance, “every person desiring to operate a business, trade, employment, profession, or seeking to do so through an agent operating within the town, unless otherwise provided by law, shall make application in writing to the Town Administrator.”

Application information will include the location of the business, the nature of the business, the number of years in business, and other relevant information.

Jones explained that businesses and practices with a license issued by an occupational licensing board of North Carolina – such as doctors, lawyers, accountants – are exempt from the town registration requirements. But they could voluntarily register if they wished to do so.

Brown motioned to approve the ordinance and Craig Dennis provided the second. The vote was unanimously in favor.

Following the ordinance approval, the council also held a separate discussion and vote on the required registration fee that would be submitted with the application. Jones stated that under state law, the fee to register cannot be higher than the cost to run the registration program. Her recommendation was $25 at the most.

Council member Jay Revelle asked if the registration fee would be one-time only. Jones answered that it was set up to be annually in the ordinance, but the council could change that.

But the council agreed to leave it as an annual fee.

Revelle also suggested setting the registration fee at $20 per year, and the rest of the council had no objections. He made that into a motion, which was seconded by Berna Stephens.

Like the previous vote, this one also passed with unanimous approval.