North East to allow new vendors in town park
— 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-
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.
Town officials on Wednesday voted to allow food and recreational rental vendors at North East Community Park.