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By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Discussion starts on new vendor ordinance

 

October 4, 2018



WORLAND — The Worland City Council got their first glimpse of a new proposed vendor ordinance Tuesday night.

The council began discussions about changing the current ordinance back in March. In August, Worland attorney and restaurant owner Chris King wrote a letter requesting the council do something to address the temporary food vendors in the city.

Under the city code Chapter 17, transient or itinerant merchants are defined as “Any person, whether as owner, agent, consignee or employee, whether a resident of the city or not, who engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, wares and merchandise within such city, and who, in furtherance of such purpose, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, motor vehicle, tent, railroad boxcar, or boat, public room in hotels, lodging houses, apartments, shops, or any street, alley or other place within the city, for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise, either privately or at public auction; provided, that such definition shall not be construed to include any person who, while occupying such temporary location, does not sell from stock, but exhibits samples only for the purpose of securing orders for future delivery only.”

In a meeting earlier this year, City Attorney Kent Richins said it is up to the city if an employee or police officer sees a new vendor in town they can check if they have a permit. “Essentially they go to [City Clerk/Treasurer] Tracy [Glanz]. They fill out an application for the license. They are required to give their name, their local address, permanent address, name and address of the company ... and the state of their incorporation. They are required to give their fingerprints, at least three letters of recommendation from reliable property owners within the town. They need to have a good character reference and business responsibility reference.” The city code also requires an itinerant merchant to disclose where and how long they will be selling their product, as well as additional information on the type of product and marketing.

“It’s very cumbersome. And to be quite honest with you we don’t enforce it and haven’t enforced it over the years because it’s really tough to do so. If you’ve notice we’re starting to get more food trucks and vendors of all sorts coming into town,” Richins said in March. 

Richins said he tried to keep the new ordinance as short and simple as possible.

“It’s something I want to work on over time,” Richins said, noting that when the council feels the ordinance is ready for first reading, he recommends opening it up to comment first before the council takes any action. Passing an ordinance requires three readings of the city council.

The new proposed ordinance prohibits canvassers, solicitors or peddlers from conducting business in Worland. There are certain activities exempt from the ordinance including fundraising activities from local groups, valid political groups, non-profit organizations, religious organizations or events sponsored by a government agency.

Canvasser, solicitor or peddler are defined as “any individual or entity engaged in the business of travelling from place to place with the intentions of taking orders for the sale of real or personal property.”

Richins said the ordinance also allows for “invited” solicitors to conduct business such as Schwann’s, UPS and others.

Article II of the proposed ordinance addresses the temporary vendor with temporary considered six months or less.

A permit would be required, although price of permit is not specified in the initial draft.

Exceptions for the temporary vendor permit are the sale of farm and garden products locally grown, non-profit organizations, events sponsored by governmental agencies including farmers market, Culture Fest, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Wyoming State BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival, sporting events and fairground events, religious organization events and school or service organizations.

Vendors must be on property zoned for commercial use, open only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and be a minimum of 25 feet from the public right-of-way line.

Mandy Horath suggested the council look at a city permit rate and non-city rate.

City Clerk/Treasurer Tracy Glanz said she has checked with other communities on rates. Thermopolis and Cody charge $300 for an annual permit, Powell $140, Douglas $200. She said she would recommend $150.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business Tuesday, Cheri Bundren from the Washakie Farmers Market thanked the council for closing off all of Ninth Street from Big Horn to Robertson for the 2018 market season.

Worland-Ten Sleep Chamber of Commerce Director Cathy Orchard asked for the same road closure on Halloween for the chamber’s trunk-or-treat event to start at 6 p.m.

During department reports, Public Works Director Brian Burky reported that the Little Free Library that is being donated by an anonymous donor and will be stocked and maintained by Friends of the Worland Library will be installed at Pioneer Square this week or next week.

He also reported that he sought input on further improvements at Pioneer Square during last Saturday’s farmers market. He is seeking grant funding to improve seating in the southwest corner of the park. Residents could vote on leaving things as is, changing out the current benches but leaving the same amount of seating, or updating and increasing seating in that corner. Input so far is overwhelmingly in favor of upgrading and increasing seating.

 
 

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