Joplin council to act on new city lodging code

Nov. 19—A new code of ordinances for hotels and motels is proposed for adoption by the city of Joplin and will be considered Monday by the Joplin City Council.

If the council approves, the city would put in place the state's regulations that would be used for annual inspections of 23 local hotels and motels.

In the past, the Joplin Health Department has conducted the inspections, but that was on behalf of the state and it was up to the state to issue lodging permits and to handle compliance with the state regulations.

If adopted, the code would provide a mechanism for local control to ensure compliance, according to city documents.

The action adopts the state code and requires annual confirmation of good standing of lodging establishments by three city departments: the health department, fire department, and the planning and zoning department.

Establishments deemed not in compliance with health and safety rules because they will not correct deficiencies can be denied renewal of a city business license.

A meeting for hotel representatives was held Oct. 17 to provide information about the code. City officials said five representatives attended. While they agreed with the ordinance, there were some concerns expressed about additional fees being charged. A fee is proposed for reinspections because of ongoing compliance issues.

Also on the meeting agenda is acceptance of an annual grant of $60,000 for the cost of advertising the Joplin Regional Airport's flight destinations.

The council also will be asked to authorize an increase in numerous city user fees. City administrators have been updating fees every two years to cover part of the costs of providing a variety of services.

The proposed fee increases:

—Fire prevention operational permits would go from $75 to $100, and fireworks stand fees from $150 to $225.

—Public works fees for special events permits, from $150 to $200; road closures from $75 to $100; and fees for reviewing residential engineering plan from $100 plus $10 per lot to $200 plus $15 per lot.

—Cemetery fees for lot space from $650 to $700, grave opening/close fee from $650 to $700 and for infant grave openings and closings from $200 to $225; grave marker installation fees from 50 cents per square inch to 55 cents; cremains interment fee from $250 to $300; cremains interment with setup from $300 to $350; columbarium-single niche fee from $900 to $1,000 and for columbarium-companion niche from $1,300 to $1,400.

—A variety of business related to health codes will go up by $10 to $45 depending on the type of service or permit.

—Parks and recreation fees will increase. Golf course fees for golf rounds and cart use will increase $1 to $2 and for league play $5. Soccer and baseball fees also will increase and a schedule of those is available from the parks department. Annual passes and special event park passes also will be raised. A table of the various fee changes is available at city or park offices.

There also are increases for subdivision permit services, zoning regulations and fees to utility services.

The council meets at 6 p.m. Monday on the fifth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St.