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Chase City eyes lodging tax in town / August 11, 2021
Chase City is one step closer to adding a lodging tax to its town ordinances.

On Monday, Chase City Town Council approved a first reading of a change to the town code calling for a 6.5 percent tax on lodging at any hotel, motel, or other lodging place within town limits.

According to Town Manager Dusty Forbes, Chase City “does not currently have a lodging tax,” in part because the town does not have any lodging facilities for transient visitors. “At some point, the Town may have a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or inn inside the Town’s corporate limits,” Forbes noted. In anticipation of that happening, “the Town Code needs to be updated to include a lodging tax.”

The tax would be paid on any lodging where the person or persons stay for 30 consecutive days or less at a hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast, Air BNB, rooming house, or similar facility. This tax is in addition to any other tax levied for the same stay by another taxing authority.

The tax does not apply to charges for lodging paid to any hospital, medical clinic, convalescent home, or home for the aged or on charges made for supplying space for a mobile home in a duly authorized mobile home park.

The taxes will be collected by the lodging facility and paid over to the county monthly on or before the 20th day of each month. Interest of 10 percent per annum will be assessed against any person or entity that does not remit tax payments in timely fashion to the Town when due.

In other business, Council member James Bohanan asked Forbes why Chase City has removed public dumpsters from the area near the town shop. Forbes said the move was made because too many people were dumping trash outside the facilities and too many manpower hours were spent by town employees cleaning up the site. Bohanan asked him to reconsider the move, keeping in mind that he was punishing people who use trash receptacles properly by placing their trash inside.

Forbes said before the dumpsters were removed, the town had installed cameras at the site to catch scofflaws. Unfortunately, the violators would aim their vehicle headlights into the cameras, making it impossible to make out details of the make or model of the vehicle or the person illegally dumping their trash.

Forbes informed Council members that there are two alternate dump sites people can use, one at the American Legion Hall on Highway 92 and a second on Jonbil Road.

Pauline Keeton asked Forbes, should he agree to restore the dumpsters to their former location, to upgrade the signage to reinforce the message that littering — dumping trash outside the containers — carries a $500 fine.

Council member BJ Mull thanked Chase City Police Sgt. Will Stembridge, members of the Chase City police and fire departments and all the first responders and other organizations for making the 2021 National Night Out celebration in town a success.

Forbes said Green Leaf Medical, a Maryland-based company that built and ran Richmond’s first medical cannabis production facility, is interested in developing a property in Chase City. Forbes said the property would be mixed use residential and commercial, such as restaurants.

The company, which was acquired by Columbia Care Inc. in June, had tried to buy the former Maxway shopping center on Highway 47 but the deal fell through. Forbes said he did not know why the company was unable to buy that property. He explained they are now looking for a 20-acre site for their proposed mixed-use development.

Forbes did not say whether Green Leaf or its current owner, Columbia Care, also had plans to build a cannabis production facility in the area. Columbia Care is one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers, and providers of medical and adult-use cannabis products in the United States.

Forbes welcomed real estate broker Matt Chumney and real estate agent Nathan White to Chase City. The pair recently opened a new independent real estate office on Main Street, Southern Pines Solutions.

Plans are afoot to widen Dodd Street at the intersection with Main Street. Forbes said the intersection needs to be changed and Dodd Street widened to make it easier for large trucks to turn onto the road from Main Street.

Lanco Paving should be finishing up repaving and repair work on Endly Street by the end of the month. Water and sewer repair work will soon begin on Anderson Street.

Forbes thanked Sarah Inge for the mural she painted at the town’s community park.

He asked families with graves in the town cemetery to stop sticking plastic flowers in the ground near the tombstones. The flowers must be removed before maintenance workers can cut the grass and perform other ongoing cleanup services. Anyone wishing to bring flowers to a grave should place them in a cement vase or in a tombstone topper.

Police, firefighters and maintenance workers in Chase City have been busy, Mayor Alden Fahringer said. Maintenance workers repaired potholes around town, inspected and flushed sewer lines, flushed hydrants, put in a new road pipe at the food bank, in addition to servicing police cars and other regular work.

Firefighters responded to 32 calls in July, including structure fires, vehicle entrapments, brush fires, downed trees, an explosion, and a water rescue. Police issued 40 summonses, made 37 traffic stops and patrolled for nearly 6,300 hours in July.

Fahringer said with COVID-19 cases again on the rise in Mecklenburg County, the town would watch case counts and risk levels before deciding whether to implement mitigation protocols. He said he is hoping and praying for the best outcomes.

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