True to their word, the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety agreed to issue local resident Alisha Clayson a permit for her seasonal shaved ice business.
Clayson has been asking the city for over a month to review its itinerant merchant fees to make it more feasible for local residents to do business within the city limits. As the current policy stands, those who reside outside the city limits must pay a permit fee of $25 per employee per day to operate as vendors in town.
On Monday, city planner Jeremy Skinner presented a revised ordinance to the Warsaw Common Council that significantly reduced the fees for merchants who reside in the county. Due to several corrections and additions needed on the proposed revision, the council asked that Clayson’s request be sent to the B.O.W. this morning where they could move to grant her an exception until the final ordinance is approved.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer requested that Clayson be allowed to pay the proposed fees, which is $5 per employee per day or $300 for the year. “We’re offering what we anticipate the council will approve,” Thallemer told her, adding the city wants to show good will to her seasonal business. “I don’t imagine you’ll be selling much shaved ice in December.”
Initially the mayor requested B.O.W. members Charlie Smith and Jeff Grose grant Clayson the day to day fee option, but after some discussion and additional input by Skinner, who said she should also be offered the $300 annual fee option, Thallemer, Smith and Grose were in agreement. Smith said, “I believe the council was very good with the fees and will likely accept them as proposed.”
Clayson, her husband and children operate a shaved ice business and, given the permit approval, will begin selling their product at the corner of Indiana and Fort Wayne streets this evening, just in time for the Country Concert in Center Lake Park. Neil McCoy is headlining tonight’s concert.
In other B.O.W. business, a matter of unbilled wastewater usage was brought to the attention of the board. Robert and Janet Shull own a rental property at 436 S. Columbia St. The rental is a home that has been renovated into three separate apartments, each with its own bathroom.
For six years the property has received monthly wastewater bills as though the property was a single-family residence. That, according to Wastewater Payment Office Manager Mary Lou Plummer, is a delinquency of $9,163.20. According to the Indiana State Board of Accounts, the arrearage would need to be paid within 90 days.
The Shulls appeared before the B.O.W. today to say they never knew each unit needed to be billed separately. Janet Shull even said she spoke with a man in the wastewater office years ago and was told the billing was being handled correctly.
Smith and Grose both agreed that if the city was at fault then the Shulls should not be penalized. Despite past incidences where billing was either missed or properties were not properly registered and the city did collect payment, the B.O.W. agreed this morning to waive the costs for the past six years saying they could understand the confusion on the property.
The Shulls will, from today forward, be required to pay monthly wastewater bills for each of the three apartments.
The B.O.W. meets every other Friday at 10:30 a.m. in the Warsaw Common Council chambers.