It appeared for a time Monday night that the Warsaw Common Council would again table any action on amending the city’s itinerant merchants ordinance. Discussions on fees and timetables for purchasing permits began to take on new life as council members debated fees.
The ordinance was first brought for discussion on June 15 when a resident living just outside the city limits asked the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety to lower their fees for a local shaved ice business. Alisha Clayson said she could not afford the fees to have her children work the family business and believed that as residents living less than a mile outside the city limits, the permit fees should be more user friendly.
As the draft was presented last night, city residents would pay nothing to operate as a temporary vendor while county residents would be required to $5 per person per day or $300 for the year.
Although the itinerant merchant ordinance had been discussed at several meetings and was set to be finalized last night with a revised draft, discussion continued on the fees when councilmen Jerry Frush and Mike Klondaris said that requiring no fee for city residents was not fair to the brick and mortar businesses that pay taxes to operate downtown.
After about 20 minutes of discussion councilman Charlie Smith said, “We’re just beating this thing up. Every time there’s something new.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer promptly agreed saying, “I think the consensus is we need to put a fee in there. I suggest we table it.”
But the council opted to take a different approach. At the motion of councilwoman Diane Quance, the board agreed to institute a $5 per person per day fee for city residents wanting to peddle goods, but cut the annual fee to just $100. An additional amendment was added saying the permits are renewable by calendar year.
The full council, with the exception of Elaine Call, approved the ordinance.