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Council frustrated with Westside’s lack of response

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WestsideBy Alton Mitchell

What started with an attempt to sell a local business to a new owner has now resulted in a firestorm for that business. Over the past several months the city of LaFayette has been reviewing the sale of Westside Grocery in LaFayette. During the reviews of that sale several infractions were found to be existing with the way the business had been operating. At Monday night’s city council meeting another infraction was discovered and now city officials are demanding action.

Records disclosed during the meeting on Monday night show that the business has been operating without a current business license. Officials with the city are having difficulty locating one on file for the company. This action has led to officials with the city of LaFayette to believe that the business is operating without a business license.

City officials have been in touch with the establishment about obtaining a current business license to do business in the city. Yet the attempted contact has failed to result and officials from Westside grocery stepping up and obtaining that license. At Monday night’s council meeting council members began weighing options for different actions that could be taken against the establishment to get the business back in compliance with business operating ordinances for the city.

Officials with the city of LaFayette are concerned because the business is still running, but without the business license that establishment is not paying taxes which was one of the previous concerns brought up to city council earlier this year. City officials also note that this is the first time in recent history the that an incident like this has occurred in which a business that has been found to be operating without a license has failed to respond to requests to go to City Hall and get one.

During the meeting options were weighed which included such extremes as issuing citations to the business or even shutting them down. City Attorney Joseph M. Tucker stated that understanding how the city ordinances view these type of the events is the key to finding the best course of action. Before adjourning Council members did approve a motion to give the City Clerk all aggressive powers under the ordinance to enforce it and get Westside Grocery in compliance with the ordinance.