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Revised ordinance targets illegal businesses in Lackawanna

Lackawanna lawmakers Monday night added teeth to an ordinance governing business registration that should prevent shady merchants from conducting business illegally within the city.

The new requirements are set forth in the revised Chapter 88 of the Lackawanna City Code. Existing businesses have 60 days to file a new application, and will not be required to pay a fee until their registration is up for renewal, said City Attorney Antonio Savagilo.

All business will be required to pay a $100 renewal fee every three years, said Fred K. Heinle, director of development.

Police for years have dealt with scofflaws who have opened businesses illegally, some serving liquor without a license and refusing to shut their doors. In some cases, business owners continued to operate even after the city yanked their business registration and ordered them to shut down.

Officials hope the revised charter provision will improve the quality of the city's business district.

"We do have businesses that are operating without a registration," said Joseph Jerge. "Now we finally have a law to prevent it."

The revised ordinance goes into effect when signed by Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski.



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