The city of St. Peters has not been issuing business licenses to some “multi-family leasing offices,” including apartments and senior housing facilities, which limits oversight over some public safety issues.
Cathy Pratt, the city’s manager of staff support services, told the city’s Board of Aldermen at a late October work session that the city staff had discovered that the city has not been issuing general businesses licenses, occupancy permits and, in some cases, had not conducted food inspections to 33 businesses in the city.
The city does not now and has not licensed these businesses, according to a memorandum to the board from City Clerk Patty Smith.
“We have found nothing in our research to support why we have not licensed these business types …” Smith stated in the memo. She and Ann Burgdorf, a city licensing specialist, reviewed the issue of unlicensed multi-family leasing offices in the city.
Pratt said the businesses include apartments and care facilities that lease living space to customers such as nursing homes and other care facilities.
“They are commercial businesses and probably should be licensed,” Pratt said. “One of the reasons really is public safety – we need to make sure we’re doing the inspections we need to do.
“Another thing is that we miss food licenses needed because we didn’t have them with a general business license. We didn’t even know they were serving food and needed a food serving license.”
The city has picked up on some of those businesses and has required a food services inspection and required license but missed others, Pratt said.
Pratt said city staff was asking the board’s permission to begin requiring business and other fees from these facilities for 2018. The general business license fee is $50 annually and there is a $50 occupancy permit fee for living units.
The board voted unanimously to approve a motion in the work session to allow staff to notify the affected businesses that they would need a business license and possibly other licensed in 2018.
In her memo, Smith said the city contacted 20 municipalities and half of the responses indicated that they do license leasing offices annually.
Locally Dardenne Prairie, St. Charles and Troy require licensing and O’Fallon doesn’t, the memo states.