Fraser mulls registration program for short-term rentals, sales tax drop
The town of Fraser is considering instituting a registration program for owners of short-term rental properties. The potential ordinance was discussed Wednesday at the Fraser Board of Trustees meeting, along with a resolution executing a contract for short-term rental consulting services with Bear Cloud Software, which would run the registration.
According to the proposed ordinance, all owners of short-term rental properties will have to maintain a current registration, which operates on an annual renewal fee of $150. Proof of registration may also be required to be posted at the property.
Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin said that the ordinance would technically go into effect 30 days after passed by the town board, but said he wants to get everyone registered before it becomes illegal not to be, giving January 1 as a soft effective date.
The current draft states that registrations can be revoked unilaterally by the town manager for a number of reasons including failure to pay water fees, failure to comply with any provisions of the town code, or failure to provide a local contact able to attend to problems on the property. It is likely the next draft of the ordinance will include an appeals process before registrations are pulled.
An updated draft is expected at the next board of trustees regular meeting on Nov. 1.
2018 Budget: Key areas of concern, excitement
The Fraser Board also discussed an early budget draft for 2018 in detail later in the meeting, pointing out key areas of concern and excitement for the next year.
The biggest concern for the town appears to be the potential for a large drop-off in sales tax revenue stemming from the new grocery store being built in neighboring Winter Park. Conservative estimates show a half-million dollar drop from 2017 to 2018.
The town seems unconcerned with the new development, however, and spent most of the evening discussing major capital projects for the town.
Fraser has a half-million dollars saved for affordable housing projects, and has also set aside funds to complete projects recommended by the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan, develop a new recycling facility, expand the Art in Public Places Program and even lower property taxes.
One of the more expensive expenditures will come in the form of road maintenance. Fraser is planning to redo the pavement and bridge over the Fraser River on County Road 8, as well as make improvements to County Road 72, a process that could add up to $2 million.
The discussion served as a starting point and the draft is still in the early stages. Town Manager Jeff Durbin said the budget will be discussed in greater detail over the coming weeks, and that the town will hold budget workshops and public hearings on Nov. 1, Nov. 15, and Dec. 6. The final deadline for approving the budget is Dec. 13.
Agreement for transit services with Winter Park still incomplete
The intergovernmental agreement between the towns of Winter Park and Fraser for transit services is still not complete. Fraser board members complained that the most recent draft of the agreement from Winter Park is too ambiguous.
Fraser Trustee Parnell Quinn voiced a few major concerns with the agreement, explaining that the town needs to retain control over the Fraser routes and that Fraser needs to be brought more into the loop with regards to management fees and startup costs.
Fraser plans to the Winter Park Town Council to another joint transit workshop to iron out the final details of the agreement.
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