Street vendors in PT face new rules

Transient vendors within Prairie Township will need a permit to peddle soon.

All vendors that operate from temporary structures, vehicles, or by going door to door must register with the township’s zoning department and carry proper identification for consumers to recognize, after to a resolution passed at the July 2 township trustee meeting.

The resolution is a result of complaints from residents, according to Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker.

“Currently, there are some regulations addressing transient vendors operating from a fixed location in the zoning code.  This includes food vendors.  There are also certain licensing and health department requirements depending on the nature of the business. There are no regulations addressing door-to-door vendors on the books,” he said.

The measure intends to regulate the time and duration of temporary vendors.

Sellers are limited to 10 days within a particular area and can only renew their permit with the township three times, allowing the vendor a maximum of 30 days in the township.

The Franklin County Board of Health is also expected to aid in deciding which vendors are granted permission to solicit in the township.

“With all of the issues with food, this will be a welcome addition (to the township),” said Prairie Township Trustee Nicole Schlosser.

At the same meeting, the township approved a preliminary budget for 2009 as a first step toward permanent appropriations for the upcoming year.

The total expected revenue for 2009 comes to just over $1.6 million which sets the standard for department spending levels, according to Hatmaker.

The Fire Department is budgeted for the biggest share of the spending in 2009, as in other years, mainly because it employees about 70 percent of the township’s full-time employees and several part-time employees, according to Hatmaker.

“As with any budget,” said Hatmaker, “it is a tug of war between competing needs and limited resources. Basic operational needs, as well as funding needed for planned large projects and capital expenses drive the budget process.”

Aside from accommodating for necessary departments within the township, trustees also had to account for a past over-estimation in bond revenues that totaled nearly $87,000.

The miscalculation occurred as a result of falling interest rates and the cancellation of several government bonds.

The township is on track to be under budget in 2009.

“We take the budget very seriously,” said Trustee Steve Kennedy.

“The budget has been balanced for the last two years and we fully expect it to be balanced this year,” he added.

In other news, the township has received numerous complaints about mosquitoes. The township works in conjunction with the Franklin County Board of Health mosquito program. Any complaints should be directed to 462-BITE.

As of July 2, the city of Columbus had not yet fogged for mosquitoes, according to Road Superintendent Dave McAninch.

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