Uber ordinance approved at Rochester City Council Meeting - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Uber ordinance approved at Rochester City Council Meeting

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

An ordinance allowing Uber and Lyft was approved at Wednesday's City Council meeting.

As the first meeting began, the new member Annalissa Johnson was welcomed by the council and Mayor Brede gave his State of the City Address.

A couple topics took the conversation.

Namely the future of some historic buildings in town, and the future of Uber and Lyft.

The discussion of the proposed, "Heart of the City North Project" was held off The proposed 17-story building would replace the Pannekoeken restaurant and the Days Inn Hotel.

Meanwhile, the TNC ordinance giving the green light to ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft was approved unanimously.

Local taxi drivers said now that change is inevitable they need to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.

"It's going to be one of those that's coming whether we welcome it or not," Adam Pierce of Med City Taxi, said. "I think its more that we want to be prepared, competition is always good no matter what business you're in where you say I'd rather be one of the few in town, it's just one of those things that we know it's coming and we just need to prepare ourselves for it," says Adam Pierce a representative of Med City Taxi.

At the meeting, city council also reviewed proposed changes to the current taxicab ordinance. Some taxi drivers were in disagreement with the proposed changes.

This included a decrease in the number of cabs needed to be considered a business, as well as the removal of a minimum fare and uniform taxi color requirement.

Some taxi drivers said the changes would allow too many people to consider themselves a taxi business.

Further discussion on the taxi cab ordinance will resume during the next meeting on January 18.

There was also much public discussion on the future of the Rosie Belle buildings, during which, the city council acknowledged the buildings are blighted.

In their state, there's not much to do but take down the buildings, but many commented that public funds should not go toward the demolition. 

The demolition permit may have to be reviewed by the Heritage Preservation Commission before moving forward with the buildings' removal. 

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