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City of Elko

ELKO – Changes to two ordinances — one that drops vendor fees for farmers market and one that reduces the penalty for late room-tax payments— are moving ahead to second reading and public hearings after Elko City council action.

The proposed change for farmers markets eliminates the $34.50 per day vendor fee so such markets could be held at the Elko Area Chamber of Commerce’s Sherman Station. The chamber leases the site from the city.

“This is great,” said Councilman John Patrick Rice. “It’s a great opportunity not just for growers but consumers.”

Dan Lotspeich of Lotspeich Family Farm said this week the growers already are promoting markets on the first and third Saturdays at the IFA Country Store, and second and fourth Saturdays in Lamoille, but could hold markets at Sherman Station on the fifth Saturdays of June and September.

He said that because the council indicated on May 8 an ordinance change would be necessary before vendor fees could be waived, the growers went ahead with scheduling the markets at the other sites.

The city’s vendor fee for special events on city property was too high for growers, Lotspeich told the council May 8. Private sites can charge less.

Councilman Reece Keener asked at the June 12 meeting that the definition of farmers markets be expanded to include dairy products and non-alcoholic drinks, and the council approved the change when agreeing to move ahead with second reading.

The definition had defined a farmers market as a “special event that primarily features booths, tables or stands where vendors sell unprocessed fruits, vegetables and meats.”

Other changes

Elko City Clerk Shanell Owen said the proposed ordinance also includes a change for business licenses. Currently, nonprofit organizations aren’t required to obtain business licenses, but under the change they will need licenses. There will be no charge for the licenses, but the change would allow for fire and safety inspections.

Other proposed changes to the business regulations code are “general housekeeping” on the recommendation of City Attorney David Stanton, Owen said.

She said the proposed change to the recently revised ordinance covering room taxes would reduce the late-payment penalty from 15 percent to 10 percent because Nevada statute limits the penalty.

The ordinance changes to the Transient Lodging Tax code would, however, now allow an interest charge of 1.5 percent per month until payment is made, Owen said.

Lodging owners collect 14 percent room taxes from lodgers and forward the payments to the city. The revised transit lodging ordinance requires payments be postmarked to the city by the 10th of each month, and the deadline for payment is the 15th of each month.

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