Ames City Council to discuss human trafficking, finalize vacation lodging ordinance


Matthew Eclatt/Iowa State Daily

Ames City Council voted to repeal the existing mask ordinance effective May 28, and a resolution was passed to suspend enforcement of the ordinance until that time. 

Amber Mohmand

Ames City Council will discuss plans to prevent human trafficking and finalize its vacation lodging ordinances at Tuesday night’s meeting. 

In hopes to prevent human trafficking, the Council will discuss a proposed ordinance having to do with massage therapy businesses. The idea was proposed in August, and the Council unanimously voted to draft an ordinance based on six elements. 

The ordinance will also require businesses to produce information about their business and practitioners when demanded by the city. 

Managers of the business must be Iowa residents, be designated in writing, be held responsible to provide information and be compliant, and each practitioner should provide photo identifications on display within the waiting and therapy rooms and cannot provide massage services between midnight and 5 a.m, according to the document.

The third passage for the vacation lodging ordinance will also be discussed at the meeting.

The Council has had an 18-month discussion about regulating areas with vacation lodging by drafting ordinances, which will establish legal definitions and specify zoning areas. 

The ordinance’s purposes are to provide safety for the guests, owners and neighbors; limit the operations, number and concentration of the vacation lodging zones to protect the character of the city’s neighborhoods; and help maintain the housing supply for household living, according to the drafted ordinance.

The Council will vote to enact the vacation lodging ordinance. 

Additionally, to regulate the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Council will look at a climate action plan.

The plan will award a contract with a company to the greenhouse gas inventory, include forecasting and provide recommendations. The study is planned to take six months to complete and cost $24,960, which the Council has budgeted $25,000 for, according to the document.

The Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.