By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
Scrap metal dealers, pawnbrokers, jewelry store and secondhand store owners will have a new record-keeping requirements if the Madison Fiscal Court passes second reading of an ordinance heard Tuesday.
The ordinance is designed to cut down on the amount of stolen metal, jewelry and other items that are bought for resale or pawn.
“They are are taking things with no records,” Clark said of some dealers. “What we’ve tried to do is wait until Richmond and Berea passed their (similar) ordinances and modeled our ordinance after theirs.”
“No such purchase shall be made unless the seller shall present his or her driver’s license or other government identification card,” the ordinance reads.
Business owners will be required to keep records that include:
• The name, address, birth date, telephone number, ID card and ID card number; date and time of purchase/exchange of the item
• A detailed description of the article or articles purchased, including any manufacturer’s name, ID number, serial number, model number, any identifying marks and a description sufficiently detailed to distinguish the specific article from other articles of a like kind
• The signature of the licensee and the seller, both executed at the time of the purchase
• A photocopy, or clear copy produced by a computer scanner of the seller’s driver’s license, state identification card or other government ID
• A digital photographer of the seller’s face and a digital photograph of the item(s) purchased by the licensee (excluding textbooks).
The records will be retained for up to one year, and all affected business owners must make a daily report on or before 11 a.m. with Leads Online as to each transaction they did within the 24-hour period.
Leads Online is a resource being utilized throughout the country to help track sales and assist law enforcement.
“We help businesses, which are typically required by law to report their transactions to law enforcement, by making reporting easier and more efficient,” according to information found at www.leadsonline.com. “From secondhand dealers, pawnshops and gold buyers to pharmacies and scrap metal dealers, we help each of them reduce the hassles of reporting.”
“There are many cases being solved because of tips placed on Leads Online,” said Madison County Attorney Marc Robbins.
Because both cities in Madison Count have enacted such an ordinance, more and more people are going out into county limits to try and sell stolen metals and merchandise, Robbins said.
“It’s got so bad that people are stealing manhole covers off the road,” said Magistrate Greg King.
In other business:
• Clark spent time during the meeting reflecting on Friday’s deadly shooting Friday, leaving 20 Connecticut schoolchildren and seven adults dead.
“I can’t imagine something like that happening here, but it could,” Clark said. “You never know where it could happen. So, we send our prayers out to them.”
• The court heard the first reading of an ordinance, that if passed upon a second reading, will put the task of issuing business licenses into the hands of the county’s planning and development office.
“We used to issue our business licenses through our finance department, and it became more obvious that Duane (Curry, planning and development administrator) and his staff, they’re out there every day and they have more staff,” Clark said. “They can stop and find out if these different contractors and subcontractors have business licenses. It’s just changing from the finance department to the planning and development. They can enforce it a lot more.”
• Lori Tatum, director of tourism for the city of Richmond, presented the court with a Christmas gift because of the its financial support in some of the department’s events. The gift was a large, framed photo of downtown Richmond at night, featuring the Madison County Courthouse.
• The court voted to hire Daniel Brindley of Berea to serve as an information technology specialist for Madison County CSEPP (Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program). Brindley’s salary, which is provided through federal funding, will be about $38,000 a year, according to Emergency Management Agency Director Carl Richards.
• Richards made the court aware of a mud slide that occurred after last week’s heavy rain. The location, 2057 Tates Creek Road, has been the scene of previous slides. The road is owned by the state, and Sen. Jared Carpenter (R-Kentucky), who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said he would take the issue to state highway department.
“At some point, it cold hurt someone,” Richards said.
The next meeting of the fiscal court is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the Madison County Courthouse.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6608.