C.P. fire chief makes case in favor of getting businesses registered

2013-09-24T21:15:00Z 2013-09-24T21:33:10Z C.P. fire chief makes case in favor of getting businesses registeredBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
September 24, 2013 9:15 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | The possibility of licensing businesses in the city was on the table Tuesday at a meeting of the City Council ordinance committee. 

Fire Chief Greg DeLor said he would back the move, which would track such information as business ownership, company floor plans and location within proper zoning.

In emergencies, public safety officials need to to know who to contact, DeLor said.

"We need to know who owns the building," DeLor said. "It's a problem when we get a 3 a.m. fire alarm and we can't for the life of us figure out who to call."

Crown Point has never required businesses to be licensed or registered, but many other area cities and towns do so to ensure the business is operating in compliance with regulations and within the correct zoning. 

Without a licensing or registration process, nobody is notified if a new business opens or changes location, DeLor said.

"A lot of them fall under the radar. We don't even know it transpired," he said.

Crown Point officials last considered requiring business licensing in 2008. The then-city chamber of commerce expressed concern a too-high fee would hurt businesses, and the proposal never advanced.

Officials Tuesday did not discuss a specific fee should business licensing be approved by the full City Council.

Fees in neighboring municipalities range from $12 for a certificate of occupancy in Hobart to $150 for a license in Merrillville, where a $75 annual renewal fee also is charged.

A method for collecting a fee would have to be worked out, officials said.

The committee took no official action Tuesday.

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