HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The city of Hannibal is telling 23 local businesses they need to renew their delinquent merchant licenses within 30 days or face possible closure.
The issue was brought to the attention of the Hannibal City Council on Tuesday night by City Collector Phyllis Nelson, who was authorized to send certified letters to the 23 businesses on Wednesday.
Nelson said the letters will inform the business owners "they have 30 days to make this right." If an owner doesn't pay the outstanding merchant license fee -- plus interest and penalties -- by the end of the 30 days, she said the Hannibal Police Department will be dispatched to make sure the business is no longer operating in Hannibal.
The amounts due from each business range from $40 to $110. Nelson said about half of the vendors are "fairly local" contractors who do business in Hannibal from time to time -- but must buy a $100 merchant's license annually to do any work.
Nelson said some of the delinquent owners might have started a business -- possibly out of their home -- and things simply didn't work out.
Nelson said any delinquent business can return to the city's good graces by paying the outstanding fee within the next 30 days.
In other action Tuesday, the council gave final reading to an ordinance clearing the way for the city to receive a $306,775 state grant to help finance the refurbishing of runway 17/35 at Hannibal Regional Airport.
The council also gave first reading to an ordinance vacating a portion of an alley between Main and Third streets, from Lyon Street to the flood wall. The Hannibal Jaycees recently acquired the property and asked the city to vacate the alley so the Jaycees can fully maintain the site moving forward. The ordinance, however, would give the city a permanent easement so it can access the site for utility maintenance.
Mayor James Hark administered the oath of office to City Clerk Angelica Zerbonia, who has been reappointed by the council to another four-year term.
The council also:
º Authorized Finance Director Karen Burditt to pay $150,733 in interest payments due Jan. 1 on three outstanding bond issues.
º Approved a request by the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council to close several downtown streets from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday for the annual "Living Windows" event.
º Authorized the mayor to sign a $24,000 contract with Simply Cut Lawns to collect trash from barrels in the downtown area during the next year.
º Authorized the Hannibal Fire Department to sell a 2008 Dodge Durango to Scott Gollaher for $2,150.