County will take up business registration

Noel Lyn Smith
San Juan County Commission

FARMINGTON — San Juan County commissioners on Tuesday will decide on whether to approve a public hearing and a notice to adopt a business registration ordinance.

Ordinance No. 95, or the San Juan County Business Registration Ordinance, would require most businesses operating in unincorporated areas of the county to register annually with the county's Community Development Department.

An exemption would be made for residents running garage and yard sales, vendors at flea and farmers markets, individuals who sell fruits and vegetables off the side of a road and people entitled to exemptions for agricultural sales and occasional sales.

Under the proposal, anyone engaging in business after March 1 would be required to complete a registration form at the Community Development Department. March 1 would also be the annual deadline to renew registrations.

The ordinance would set a $10 late fee for individuals or businesses that fail to register by March 1 and a penalty of up to $25 for violating the ordinance.

It would also allow the county fire department to conduct fire inspections of businesses.

On Oct. 7, commissioners tabled the proposed ordinance after a public hearing. The move allowed for additional public input to be collected about improving the ordinance, according to a staff summary report attached to the meeting agenda.

Public comments were collected by phone and email and at a Citizen’s Advisory Meeting on Nov. 3. The comments were used to revise the ordinance. One of the major revisions was removing an annual fee to register a business. An early version of the ordinance would have charged businesses $35 per year.

County Attorney Doug Echols said the revisions were "serious" enough to ask the commission to schedule a public hearing for Jan. 5 and issue a notice of intent to adopt the ordinance.

The staff summary report states the public hearing would be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 5 in the commission chambers inside the county’s administration building at 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec.

After the public hearing, the commission could consider whether to adopt the ordinance, Echols said.

Also on the commission's agenda for Tuesday is approving an intergovernmental agreement for a sobering house and the Joint Intervention Program, or JIP, and authorizing the county executive officer to sign an "acceptable" agreement.

The intergovernmental agreement to operate the sobering house and JIP would be between the county, the city of Farmington, San Juan Regional Medical Center and Presbyterian Medical Services 

Under the draft agreement, the sobering house would offer services to adult residents throughout the county 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

JIP would be a 140-day treatment regimen that would offer screening and treatment for substance abuse.

Commissioners will also consider a request to adjust the construction budget for the sobering house.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.