Waite Park To Develop Ordinance To License Hotels
WAITE PARK -- The city of Waite Park may soon be able to license hotels.
City officials will be discussing Monday night a new hotel ordinance to help cut down on the criminal activity that takes place inside.
City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says state law only grants hotel licensing to cities with a population of over 30,000, but with the problems they had with hotels in the past, they were granted special approval.
"We brought this issue to our legislatures, and they passed special legislation to get Waite Park to do this and hopefully we can help these hotels eliminate the problems they may have."
The ordinance would help eliminate crimes such as sex trafficking, drug use and potential shootings like the one that occurred in 2014.
Johnson says the ordinance would help set some guidelines so city staff, hotel managers and law enforcement stay on the same page.
"The ordinance establishes guidelines and training we want hotel managers to go through. It will have an annual license renewal and the other part of the ordinance would give us access to some records so we know who is staying at the hotels."
Johnson says the ordinance would not take the place of the county's role in regulating hotels.
The plan would be to bring the hotel ordinance for consideration in November and hope to have it in effect by the first of the year.