New city ordinance requires insurance for businesses - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

New city ordinance requires insurance for businesses

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Light pole flag in Canton, Missouri Light pole flag in Canton, Missouri
Downtown Canton, Missouri Downtown Canton, Missouri
CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) -

For many small Tri-State towns, cleaning up old crumbling buildings can be a big burden. Now Canton, Missouri is adding a city law to help keep business owners accountable.

It's been 4 years since Janney's in Canton caught fire, destroying four buildings. Owner Robert Janney said it took a while to get back on their feet.

"It hurt us worse for our shop and our tool. Pretty much all of our tools were in there," Janney said.

Janney said he's thankful insurance covered most of the cost to rebuild. Business owner Carl LaSala said insurance is a good idea for any business

"Well if you're a true business man and you have an investment, you want to protect your investment," LaSala said.

Mayor Jarrod Phillips hopes a new ordinance will help keep the city off the hook to clean up after disasters.  The ordinance requires all businesses to have $50,000 in property insurance.

"Over a decade ago we lost three buildings in town," Phillips said. "What we were left with was using public funds to get those properties cleaned up. That's really not what a government with a limited size like ares, can be burdened with, nor should our tax payers be burdened with that."

With the ordinance set to take effect January 1st, some business owners still have questions like how it will be enforced.

"How are they going to police it with folks who have businesses out of their own home?" LaSala said.

The license will cost businesses $35/year, and LaSala is concerned that adding more fees could deter future businesses from coming to Canton.

"We want to make it business friendly where folks want to come in, which helps out the town with taxes, but also not to make it too city like and scare people away," LaSala said.

 But Phillips doesn't think that will happen.  He said the real benefit is protecting other businesses.

"We ant to make sure we're continually a nice place to do business and a nice place to live," Phillips added.

Phillips said more information about the ordinance will be sent out to businesses with tax information this fall and put on the city's website. He said violations of the new ordinance could result in a fine of $500 per day and possible jail time.

There will be a grace period for businesses to get their license.
 

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