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Franklin Co. commissioner on importance of reopening vacation rentals

Posted at 4:23 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 19:40:03-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fl. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that, if a county wants to re-open rentals in their area, they'd have to submit a safety plan. Franklin County commissioners have done just that.

The proposal outlines guidelines by the Vacation Rental Management Association which aligns with CDC guidelines. Businesses would be required to disinfect surfaces, wear masks and try to do remote check-ins when possible.

The board says sales and property taxes from the rentals account for about sixty percent of the county budget. Putting these steps in place in order to let them re-open would be a win-win.

"We wanted to build up standards in that letter so travelers would have a lot of confidence in our industry here in Franklin County," explained Bert Boldt, Franklin County Commissioner for District 2. "Our tourist industry here is needing to open immediately and to do it in a careful, methodical, well thought out way. We want to know that we're open for business, relative to all the social distancing that we have in the way of events and activities in Franklin County."

Commissioner Boldt said he is shoulder-to-shoulder with all of the other commissioners on this proposal. He explained how many things in the county are connected by rentals."It brings in income not only to the rental properties but to the sales income tax revenue that we receive as a county. And also secondary income for folks making a living on the secondary services that folks who rent our rentals are using. Such as gas stations, grocery stores, and gift stores."

They will reaffirm this plan at Tuesday's county commission meeting.