Rowland to charge businesses yearly fee

By: By Tomeka Sinclair -

ROWLAND — The Rowland Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved an ordinance to require local businesses to register with the town annually for a fee of $25.

The commissioners agreed during their regular monthly meeting that local businesses that don’t comply will be fined $50.

“If people were to come into the office and ask about a business in town, we should be able to easily get information about that business to give to them,” said Marvin Shooter, the mayor pro tem.

Municipalities once were allowed to charge and collect business permits fees from all active businesses within their jurisdictions. In 2015, the N.C. General Assembly eliminated the ability for towns and cities to level a permit fee on businesses.

Town Clerk David Townsend said the permitting fees originally were used to maintain downtown Rowland. Because the fees were outlawed the town proposed the business registration system to maintain information on businesses opening and closing.

Individuals with fruit or vegetables stands will be exempt.

“I don’t want to regulate them. It’s not like they’re a real business. They’re just selling stuff out of their gardens,” Commissioner Jean Love said.

The commissioners also agreed to charge peddlers $10, which are defined as people who go from place to place selling items such as books, magazines or periodicals.

In other business, the commissioners:

— Discussed the need to begin looking for someone to fill a secretarial position at Town Hall. Townsend said that as long as the individual has computer and people skills, that person should be able to train them for the position.

— Agreed to pay $13,671 to repair a pump station located at Waffle House, located at 14860 U.S. 301 South. The town had been renting a bypass pump until repairs could be made. Townsend said the town has the money to repair the damage but it can’t afford to pay for any other repairs.

“If we have another repair with the sewer system, we’re hurting. The funds just aren’t there,” Townsend said.

— Were reminded about the upcoming Robeson County Municipal Association meeting that Rowland will be hosting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Pink Restaurant, located at 104 E. Church St. in Rowland.

By Tomeka Sinclair

Reach Tomeka Sinclair at 910-416-5865

Reach Tomeka Sinclair at 910-416-5865