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Council takes up temporary merchants issue

Estherville City Council

May 10, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Sell your wares/pay the tax?

Council considers adding temporary merchants to list of peddlers and solicitors who must be licensed to sell in the city

At Monday night's Estherville City Council meeting, the council considered a measure regarding temporary merchants such as food trucks and fireworks tents selling in the city limits.

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The proposed ordinance would cover food trucks coming to town.

"They don't buy gas in Estherville, they don't buy groceries or pay taxes here. They earn their money and leave town," council member Brandon Carlin said.

The measure is a proposed amendment to the city code on regulation of business and vocations, and covers peddlers those who carry goods or merchandise for immediate delivery, and solicitors those who take orders for goods, subscriptions or merchandise to be delivered later. The expansion would cover temporary merchants, which would include food trucks, fireworks tents, and others selling from non-permanent structures and vehicles.

As with the current statute, salespeople must first obtain a license. Food vendors must have proof of a valid food license and compliance documents from the state or county health department.

Some vendors are exempt from the statute, including vendors who come to Estherville as part of a public event, who register with the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce or other sponsoring organization, and those selling as a fundraiser for a club, including scouts, 4-H, service clubs, and others.

In other business, the council awarded two bids for the 2019 Street Improvements project. The lone bid for asphalt resurfacing came from Blacktop Service Company of Humboldt in the amount of $266,766. The low bidder for reconstruction at First Avenue South between 17th and 18th Streets was Hulstein Excavating of Edgerton, Minn. Both bids came in under the engineer's estimate.

The council also approved the updated Hazard Mitigation Plan for Emmet County, and formally approved a Community Catalyst Grant of $100,000 for the building at 700 Central Ave., which was awarded last month at the Rural Iowa Summit by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The next meeting of the city council will be Monday, May 20 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall.



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