The Mount Jackson Town Council unanimously approved holding a public hearing on March 9, before the next council meeting, to amend an ordinance for the motel tax.

The amendment would change some words to include short-term rentals such as Airbnb’s to be subject to a motel tax.

“Homestays and apartments dedicated to short-term rentals are growing in popularity, even here in the valley,” Mount Jackson Town Manager Neil Showalter said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Karen Costie, a member of the Mount Jackson Hometown Partnership, said the project to put up flag banners in honor of local veterans is coming along. She said they will be ordering at least 30 flags and they can put four up on each pole around town. They hope to put them up before Memorial Day and Veterans Dday each year.

“I appreciate what the Hometown Partnership has done with this because it is going to be a real plus for the Town of Mount Jackson,” Mayor Donnie Pifer said.

Costie also said that they will not be holding the Chili Cook-off in March. However, she said they are hoping to have a Battle of the Bands and a small festival sometime in April.

Councilwoman Whitney Miller said that she looked into getting a plaque in honor of former town resident Hope Emph, who died last summer. The plaque would be placed on one of the benches at the Town Park. Emph’s family wanted to do something for her and they will be paying for the plaque.

Council members decided to hold off on the plaque until they look into coming up with some sort of criteria or guidelines for doing a plaque for a community member. Councilman Dennis Andrick said he was concerned about having many other people wanting to do the same thing.

“My concern is if we do it for her we would be stuck with doing it for everybody else that came up,” Andrick said.

Pifer said that he believed they should do the plaque for Emph.

“If they meet the same criteria and the same circumstances, then we would do it for them, too,” Pifer said. “Everything being equal, we should do it for everybody else in the same situation.”

The Town Council also unanimously approved appointing Andrick to the Spot Blight Abatement and Appointment of Advisory Committee. He is the first member and they are looking for more people to join the committee, which will help Showalter determine whether or not a property is blighted.

“They’re there to give the town a tool with properties that seem to have gone beyond the realm of nuisance or littering or something less serious,” Showalter said of the committee. “And gives the town an opportunity to investigate to determine whether (the properties) are blighted as defined by the ordinance.”

The council also unanimously approved a directive to apply for transportation alternatives set-aside funds to extend a section of the sidewalk on south end of Triplett Tech.

Council members Andrick, Miller, Judy Fultz, Roger Rudy, Rod Shepherd and Mayor Pifer attended the meeting either in-person or virtually. Councilwoman Bonnie Good did not attend.

– Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at