North East to al­low new ven­dors in town park

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— Town of­fi­cials voted Wed­nes­day night to al­low food ven­dors and wa­ter sport equip­ment ven­dors to rent space in the town park, pos­si­bly as early as this sum­mer.

The res­o­lu­tion sets up a bid­ding process that will al­low two food ven­dors and one non-mo­tor­ized recre­ational rental ven­dor to lease space in the park. Un­der the res­o­lu­tion, the food ven­dors will each pay $1,200 a year for the lease and the recre­ational rental ven­dor will pay $1,800 a year.

Prior to the town board vote on the res­o­lu­tion, Mayor Robert McKnight em­pha­sized that the num­ber of ven­dors and the lease fee could change in the fu­ture de­pend­ing on how the first round of ven­dors work out.

“This is a place for us to start,” he said. “We’re look­ing at this as a rev­enue stream that the town hasn’t had be­fore.”

The orig­i­nal res­o­lu­tion brought be­fore the board called for both types of ven­dors to pay $1,200 a year for the lease but, at McKnight’s sug­ges­tion, the board ul-

NORTH EAST

ti­mately de­cided that the lease for the recre­ational rental ven­dor should be raised to $1,800, both be­cause of the water­front lo­ca­tion and be­cause these ven­dors will be al­lowed to have a non-en­closed stor­age struc­ture at the park.

The stor­age struc­ture will need to be ap­proved by the town but will ul­ti­mately be owned by the ven­dor, who will need to cover the costs to con­struct and main­tain the struc­ture. Though the struc­ture can re­main in place even dur­ing the off­sea­son, if a ven­dor de­cides not to re­new the lease, they would have 30 days to move the struc­ture or it be­comes the prop­erty of the town, ac­cord­ing to the res­o­lu­tion.

Food ven­dors, on the other hand, are limited to one mo­tor ve­hi­cle with a vend­ing trailer or one ven­dor mo­bile ve­hi­cle and are not al­lowed to park overnight at the park, ac­cord­ing to the res­o­lu­tion.

The de­ci­sion to al­low ven­dors to rent space in the park is the sec­ond ma­jor change to park use pol­icy that town of­fi­cials have made this year. In Fe­bru­ary, of­fi­cials passed a new park rental pol­icy, which di­vided the park up into three zones with the rental cost vary­ing de­pend­ing on the type of or­ga­ni­za­tion, the zone be­ing rented and the du­ra­tion of the rental.

Pre­vi­ously, pri­vate users could rent the en­tire park for $400 per event, re­gard­less of the event’s du­ra­tion. In cre­at­ing the new pol­icy, town of­fi­cials said they hoped to im­prove pub­lic ac­cess to the park since many pri­vate users weren’t us­ing the whole park for their events, but were still block­ing pub­lic ac­cess to the park.

The town is still putting to­gether the bid no­tice for the food and recre­ational rental ven­dors, but ex­pects to be able to start re­ceiv­ing ap­pli­ca­tions in the next few weeks, with the hopes of get­ting ven­dors in the park in time for the sum­mer sea­son.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Town of­fi­cials on Wed­nes­day voted to al­low food and recre­ational rental ven­dors at North East Com­mu­nity Park.

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