By John Burton
FAIR HAVEN — An ordinance proposed by the Borough Council last week would require business owners in town to check in with borough officials every year.
If approved by the council, the ordinance introduced at the Oct. 24 meeting would require those who hold a 50 percent or larger stake in a Fair Haven business to register with the borough and provide contact information for at least one owner of the business in case police, fire or other municipal officials need to contact them.
Mayor Michael Halfacre said last week there have been numerous instances where situations have arisen with local businesses but town representatives have been unable to get in touch with business owners.
“Shouldn’t you come to the town and ask, ‘Aren’t there any special rules?’” Halfacre offered as an explanation. He also said, “Our goal is to make it as simple as possible.”
Once businesses file the necessary information they would be contacted annually to update the information, which would have to be done by July 1 of each year. There wouldn’t be a charge to the businesses for the annual update, but a $25 fee would be imposed if businesses fail to update their information by Sept. 30 of each year.
“I think it’s a good thing,” this week said Michel Berger, president of the Fair Haven Business Association.
Berger, who owns and operates Front Line Media, a computer software firm, said the association has also discovered “how difficult it was to reach out to all the businesses when there’s a need to communicate information.” He believes having contact information for business owners on file at Borough Hall would help the association as well.
The association, which has approximately 65 members, has discussed the matter at past meetings and the overall consensus is to support it, especially since there is no fee attached, Berger explained.