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Vendor rules headed for vote

A revised street vendor ordinance is headed for a vote at the next Canton, CT City Council meeting.

During a judiciary committee meeting recently, Law Director Joseph Martuccio discussed his memo to council outlining proposed changes to legislation introduced by Councilman Bill Smuckler, D-at large.

The new version is expected to include the following:

• Mobile vendors who sell food or merchandise within the Special Improvement District, which includes downtown Canton, would be charged $125 per month with the option of paying $1,000 per year.

At an earlier work session, Councilman Joe Boomhauer, D-at large, suggested the fee structure. Boomhauer also has noted that there is not an abundance of mobile vendors downtown.

Smuckler’s original legislation proposed a mobile vending fee of $250 a day within the Special Improvement District.

• Vendors who operate without a permit would be fined $250 per occurrence.

• The permit fee could no longer be waived. Currently, if the vendor has a permit or license through the Canton Health Department and the state, the existing $125 annual fee is waived, Martuccio said.

• Vendors would be restricted to certain areas. At the committee meeting, Majority Leader and Councilman David Dougherty, D-6, cited safety concerns and suggested limiting the number of vendors allowed to operate at the same time.

Martuccio said the revised legislation could be written to allow two mobile vendors at the north end of Central Plaza in downtown Canton and two vendors at the south end.

The legislation has been controversial.

Some local vendors have argued that the originally proposed fee would have made it financially unfeasible to operate downtown.

Meanwhile, some downtown restaurant owners have argued that mobile vendors enjoy unfair advantages and should pay a higher fee and face tighter regulations.