To The Editor:
As a resident of New Britain, Conn. I am writing in response to Mayor Erin E. Stewart’s budget addendum on potential revenue generators. Personally, there are several items listed that I think the common council should adopt, but here are some that I believe are long overdue.
An internet room rental inspection fee for Airbnb’s is absolutely necessary. The budget addendum states that in an effort to be sure conditions are livable, acceptable, and sanitary the Building and Health Department shall require all addresses who rent rooms on websites such as “Airbnb” to have an annual inspection conducted by the City. Such Inspection shall cost $75 to offset the cost of the staff hours required to register the address, and for the housing inspector to complete the proper inspection.
While Airbnb’s and other short-term rental websites are a fairly new concept in the rental world, they pose greater dangers than traditional rentals because the property owners do not disclose their locations ahead of time nor does Airbnb provide for their own inspections of the property. As well, the leasing of snack shacks, would be an excellent proposal to be adopted by the Common Council as it would authorize the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department to lease operations of the Gazebo at Walnut Hill Park, and also specific parking spaces designated for food trucks at Stanley Quarter Park and AW Stanley Park, for sale of food for park users.
I unequivocally agree with this proposal because for a city like New Britain to not begin capitalizing on some of its most beautiful open spaces would be, instead, a waste of public resources. I very much agree that we need to get creative with the powers granted to us by the state to generate new revenue. Remember folks, new revenue equals new, and quite possibly, greater services.