(Shenandoah) — Shenandoah city officials have made their decision regarding the ongoing dispute over peddler’s regulations.
At its regular meeting Tuesday evening at City Hall, the Shenandoah City Council approved an alternative proposal that alters the city’s peddler’s ordinance. The vote was 4-to-1 with Councilwoman Toni Graham casting the lone dissenting vote. The council then adopted the ordinance amendment by the same 4-to-1 vote.
Under the approved changes, the council set the new peddler’s rates at $10 for one day, $15 for one week, $20 for one month, $60 for six months, and $120 for one year. The previous fee for peddler’s was $900.
Several people spoke during a public hearing that was held prior to the council’s vote. Shelly Warner with the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association asked council members to consider building owners and business owners within Shenandoah when making a decision on the issue.
“They all pay a few thousand a year (in property taxes), so it doesn’t seem too unfair to me for a vendor to possibly pay $100 a month,” Warner said. “That would only be $1200 a year if they want to come every month out of the year, or if they just want to come one month or one day, then they can pay $100 for that with the option to come the whole month. It’s a fraction of a business owner who is invested in the community and who is here paying the dues day in and day out.”
One resident questioned whether vendors selling sweet corn and other fresh produce in the city limits would also be required to pay the peddler’s fees. Mayor Dick Hunt indicated that they would not be included in the proposal.
“No, because they are all paying taxes and they all live in Shenandoah,” the Mayor replied.
Sara Vance with the Shenandoah American Legion Auxiliary stated she feels sweet corn vendors should also be included in the peddler’s ordinance.
“If you are going to say that it has wheels and that’s how it should be charged, then it should be done fairly,” Vance said. “To say that the corn vendors versus the (food) trucks, that that’s a difference because they live in Shenandoah, well Phy-Ros lives in Page County. And, the barbecue place that had a truck and will no longer come to Shenandoah lives in town. I hope you’ll take into consideration that if you’re going to pass a law like this that it should be distributed evenly.”
Another resident in the public hearing, Douglas Vance of the Shenandoah American Legion, expressed frustration with the council’s handling of the issue.
“The perception that you have given as this council about this is that outside businesses are not welcome,” Vance said. “I can tell you that even the (Page County) Cattlemen’s Association told us to go fly a kite for the 4th of July.”
Mayor Hunt quickly replied to Vance’s comments, saying the city of Shenandoah always welcomes new businesses to come to town.
“I want to tell you, we do encourage business. I am not against that,” Hunt said. “But, they should be paying a little bit of their fair share like everybody else. A food truck is a nomad business. It drives in here on wheels and then it leaves on wheels.”
The city council took its action upon the closing of the public hearing. City Administrator AJ Lyman tells KMA News that the ordinance amendment’s approval was considered the third and final reading.
“Because we had two initial readings, even though the second reading was voted down, procedurally they made a change and so the substance of the actual motion didn’t really change,” Lyman said. “They were able to make it the third reading.”
In other business, the council unanimously approved the purchase of a 2020 Chevy Colorado for the city’s water department from Doug Meyer Chevrolet in the amount of $29,200. Council members also approved a request from the First Christian Church to block off Church Street from Thomas to 5th Avenue, and the alley behind St. Mary’s Parish Hall and the Methodist Church, for vacation bible school August 4th through August 7th from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.