HACKETTSTOWN | Town council Monday banned check-cashing stores on Main Street and took a first step to also ban tattoo and massage parlors on the street.”There are things happening downtown I’m not very happy with,” Mayor Michael Lavery said. “When the private sector doesn’t handle these issues, government steps in.”

The check-cashing ban was prompted by the announcement of such a store opening at 270 Main St. Anderson Check Cashing recently obtained a zoning permit from the town.

“That’s the worst thing that happened to Main Street since I’ve been here,” Lavery said. “It’s a disgrace.”

The check-cashing ban passed without any public opposition, except for one town resident who was concerned how the ban affected Western Union locations.

Existing Western Unions and check-cashing stores are grandfathered and allowed to stay in town, Lavery said. New Western Unions and other similar businesses will suffer the side effects of check-cashing stores moving into town, he said.

“Historically check-cashing happens to be a business that’s located in areas that are not safe, are crime-ridden,” he said. “We don’t want Hackettstown to go down that road.”

So this guy is saying that more check cashing businesses will lead to more crime? How exactly hasn’t the private sector handled this? In fact it’s the opposite. There is a demand for these businesses otherwise they’d not be seeking to open up. Once the market is saturated the openings will stop. If crime increases the town residents can move or attempt to solve issues which lead to crime. Seems to me given that they aren’t kicking out the existing check cashing places that they are just guaranteeing them a certain amount of business assuming the reasons for needing them stay relatively consistent. Given it’s NJ and we have such high taxes perhaps if the town wanted to curb the need for these places they could lower taxes, fees and other government required overhead to attract new business to the area. As the wealth of the town increases the need for banks will probably increase and check cashing places decrease. As for tattoo and massage parlors… seems to me these people are simply hostel to differing life styles. If those in the area agreed with those in power than very shortly those businesses would close shop.