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Town Board hears pitch from short-term rental tracking service

At Tuesday’s Town Board work session, a virtual meeting streamed live over the internet, members heard information from a Seattle-based software company seeking to manage the town’s short-term rental regulations.

The town has a contract with STR Helper, which has merged with Host Compliance. The contract with STR Helper runs through July, when the town can re-up services with the newly formed company.

The board, via teleconferencing, heard from Ulrik Binzer, the chief executive officer of Host Compliance, who gave a menu of services, including licensing of STRs; tracking advertising to see if property owners are complying; discovering if they are renting out their spaces more frequently than allowed; and other services.

The company will also notify landlords if they are not in compliance; provide online registration for landlords; and help with tax collection information.

The total package offered would be more than $20,000 annually, but Supervisor Gerry Siller said Host Compliance was providing “an a la carte menu.” He estimated the town might spring for several services for a total of about $10,000. Mr. Siller added that the town was now paying STR Helper about $6,000 on the contract that runs through mid-summer.

The town’s divisive and contentious STR law is now entering its third summer. Councilman Jim Colligan said “there have been growing pains and lessons learned,” and the town has “not emphasized penalties” to violators of the law.

The board decided to get more data and other information before discussing a new contract.