By SHELDON MOORE
Business owners might see an increase in annual business costs.
On Thursday, October 27, 2022, the South Padre Island City Council met with business owners and residents to hear feedback regarding the city’s Chapter 18 Golf Cart Ordinance Amendment. This workshop is a continuation of the discussion that took place during the recent regular meeting of the municipal council on October 19, 2022.
Mayor Patrick McNulty called the meeting to order promptly at 3 p.m. With no one offering initial comment, McNulty acknowledged operations manager Wendi Delgado, who outlined three possible scenarios for hiring part-time or full-time marshals to deal specifically with the golf cart enforcement. regulations. The costs are to be covered by increasing the current annual registration fee and a possible new commercial license fee for carts operated by rental companies.
Next, the meeting moved directly to opinions regarding changes to the city’s current Chapter 18 bylaws, governing the operation of carts on the island. The first of these was a possible increase in annual registration fees from $50 to $100 for all golf carts, commercial or private, used within city limits. Several residents and business owners approached council on this point with little resistance to the proposal. Closely related to the annual registration fee was the annual inspection process. A proposal to move inspections, currently conducted by the SPI Police Department, to an outside provider was discussed. Residents and business owners who spoke to the council about it seemed equally divided, with the pros and cons of both choices considered.
The next change proposed for notice was a new annual business license for carts operated by rental business owners. The proposed cost of this license would be up to $250 per year. Business owners who have spoken to the council about this have united against this in addition to the $50 per cart increase on the current annual registration fee. They pointed out that the carts sit idle for much of the year, and the extra cost would be detrimental to their businesses, especially at or near the top of the “up to” $250 range.
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