Wellston Mayor Charlie Hudson addressed a number of important issues during a recent meeting of Wellston City Council, which he in turn requested be sent to various committees for review.

Among the topics for the Thursday night, June 18, meeting was a rehashing of a previously mentioned issue pertaining to the implementation of a licensing system for contractors and businesses operating in the city. For this talking point, Mayor Hudson gave the floor to Wellston Fire Department Chief, Zoning Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, Ryan Pelletier.

Pelletier explained a number of contractors are doing business in Wellston, however the city is not collecting any income tax revenues through the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) as a result of said work. He also said residents often call to inquire about certified electricians and other credentialed service providers, information which the city cannot currently provide.

“Most cities our size have contractors’ licenses,” Pelletier said. “It’s actually a protection for our residents. They’ll be able to visit our website and see who is licensed in the city, who they can use. Those contractors would have to provide the city with proof of insurance, copies of certifications and so on. It’s a good form of checks and balances.”

Furthermore, Pelletier said unlicensed contractors would no longer be able to conduct business in the city once legislative action is taken on this matter.

With regard to business licenses, Chief Pelletier stated the city currently has no way of tracking these individuals either.

“In order to have a business in Wellston, you need to be able to provide a safe environment for citizens to go in and out and shop, or do whatever kind of business they’re doing,” he said. “We have no way of tracking that. We don’t know who has a business in town. We need to monitor that and it’s hard to do without a tracking system.”

Ultimately, Pelletier said these two items would help clean up the community and get things better organized. The issues were sent to the Planning Committee, of which Councilman Anthony Brenner is the chair.

During his report to Council, Mayor Hudson stated that, as of that evening, summer intern Grant Plummer had gone through and digitally catalogued all of the city’s ordinances back to 1993. In doing so, Hudson said one item of legislation that pertains very much to first responders “really popped out,” that being Ordinance 32-40 from Aug. 5, 1999. This ordinance, Mayor Hudson explained, requires all homes in the city to have house numbers displayed and actually carries a possible penalty of a minor misdemeanor and a $100 fine for those found to be non-compliant.

Overall, Mayor Hudson said Council needs to take action on this matter and decide how to proceed, specifically with regard to who would be responsible for procuring the numbers, the city or the residents.

“If you have a heart attack, you want first responders to know how to get to you,” he said. “This doesn’t require anything but enforcement since the ordinance is already on the books. It may not be in the next week or two weeks, but at some point we are going to get house numbers back on houses.”

Mayor Hudson also mentioned the possibility of applying for some type of safety grant for use in obtaining the house numbers, as the matter does deal heavily with the ability of emergency medical services, fire and police personnel to find specific residences, especially at night.