Taxicab ordinance is readied by city

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Marshall City Council met on Monday, Jan. 29, for an informational meeting to discuss two items that will be placed on the agenda for the regular Monday, Feb. 5 council meeting.

The Chapter 31 "Vehicles For Hire" ordinance was tabled from the Tuesday, Jan. 16, meeting for the lack of time for discussion of changes.

The revised measure will cut a 14-page taxicab businesses ordinance to a three-page ordinance.

"If we do adopt this at the next meeting, it would be much simpler for applicants," said City Administrator Charles Tryban.

At the current time, Barnes Taxi is the only licensed taxi business in Marshall. There is another company interested but city officials have asked it to hold off on the licensing process until council has made a decision on the new ordinance.

The new ordinance follows closely the one Sedalia has on taxicab businesses, Tryban said.

Under the ordinance, a taxi business must clearly display its rates so that a passenger may see them and have no question of cost. There has to be a sign on the vehicle. If the driver uses the vehicle for personal use, the driver can use a magnetic sticker that can be removed from the door.

"The ordinance (we are proposing) still covers the insurance we need, but does not get into their management practices," Tryban said.

The ordinance does not set the taxi rates or fees. Tryban said the taxi business will be treated like any other businesses.

In other city business, the city offices have a new computer system and software that office staff have been using. Shelly Bockstetter has been working diligently sifting through ordinances and other city information that needs to be updated, officials said.

An update is needed for the schedule of business licenses. The staff in the city clerk's office is attempting to clarify the categories of business licenses offered. "We hope for 32 different categories instead of about 60," Tryban said.

Since business licenses are coming up soon, Tryban would like to get the ordinance in place and ready for approval at the Monday, Feb. 5, council meeting.

Mayor Connie Latimer said the city workers are really having a good time figuring out what the new program can do. "It is really slick," the mayor said.

Last year, there were over 2,000 licenses issued and Bockstetter typed them all on a typewriter, Latimer said. With the new software, she can print them off the computer.

Something else the new software offers is color-coded cards. Contractors and electricians are given a card to carry that shows they are licensed. In the past, it has been a plain white card. With the color-coding, a contractor or electrician can be identified by city personnel without having to read the whole card to see what they are licensed for.

In another matter, Latimer said that the city office is getting a credit card machine.

"We have never taken credit cards," Latimer said. "We thought it was about time." The machine will be installed shortly.

The next regular city council meeting will be Monday, Feb. 7, at 5:15 p.m. in the city council chambers.

Contact Rachel Harper at

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