WAITE PARK -- Waite Park will now be able to license hotels. The city approved a new hotel ordinance during Monday’s council meeting.

The ordinance would help the city work with hotels/motels to limit the amount of illegal activity that can occur inside hotels.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says the ordinance is designed so they can be more proactive when it comes to what happens inside a hotel.

“Over the years, without the licensing, we have been more reactive. There was never anyway to address any issues when it involved law enforcement or the types of calls."

Waite Park becomes the first city with a population under 30,000 to regulate hotels. State lawmakers passed special legislation to allow the exception.

Johnson says they know there will be some growing pains, and hope to work closely with the hotels to address any concerns or issues when they arise.

“We're really going to work at monitoring things more frequently just until we get a handle on the types of calls we get and the activity that takes place."

The new ordinance would not take the place of the county’s role in regulating hotels. Johnson says the ordinance plans to go into effect by early 2018.