During Monday night’s city council meeting, the governing body decided to place a moratorium on issuing taxicab services, so that city council members can reevaluate the process in obtaining taxicab licenses.
The decision came on the helm of another individual trying to obtain a taxicab regulatory license for 820 North Wall Street, but council members noticed that more than one business was operating by that address.
“We currently have two other taxicabs working out of that same physical address,” explained council member David Hammond on Monday. “I move that we impose a moratorium on issuing taxi licenses effective today, March 26, and lasting for 90 days.”
By imposing a moratorium, city council members will be able to better serve its citizens.
Hammond said that this will give them the opportunity to research the ordinance, put clear perimeters in the ordinance about taxicab commercial addresses, give public safety officials the opportunity to review the drivers of these vehicles, and to review the safe operations of these vehicles to protect the safety of the community.
During the meeting, a citizen came forward about his concern of illegal activity and the abuse of taxicab licenses; he said he knew of people who are operating a taxicab business out of their home, which is not in accordance with the Calhoun Code of Ordinances.
“If they are doing that (operating a taxicab business from their home), then it’s in violation of the ordinance, but this 90-day moratorium gives us the opportunity to revisit the ordinance and look at all the parts of that,” said Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer. “It should be a physical address that is separate from the house.”
Hammond echoed the sentiment.
“We want to be sure that the citizens of the community have transportation options via taxi services, but we want to be very sure that the operators of those taxis are running a legitimate business,” said Hammond.
He went on to say that the council also wanted to ensure that the drivers of Calhoun taxicabs are certified by the state, and that the vehicles are inspected properly.
The 90-day moratorium should yield solutions that will be fair when issuing licenses.
“It has to be the same for all,” said Hammond. “That’s what we are hoping to do with this 90-day period of study and debate, so that whatever we do will be equally enforced on everyone.”