Town councillors in Antigonish have approved first reading of a new vending bylaw.
The bylaw, which combines two existing bylaws into one, unanimously passed first reading at April’s regular town council meeting Monday night.
After the meeting, Laurie Boucher, the mayor of Antigonish, there was a major driving force behind the change.
“If vendors had permission to sell or operate on private property, they didn’t have to pay the vending licence fee (previously),” she said. “This bylaw takes that into consideration- even if you’re selling on private property, you still have to be registered and put an application through the town.”
Boucher said another change is vendors can set up within 30 metres of a similar business with permission from surrounding business owners.
She said town officials are trying to balance established, long-term business owners and their seasonal vendors.
“We, as a town council, really want to protect our businesses that are long-term in the town, paying commercial taxes,” she said. “On the other hand, vendors come in, they’re very short-term, a couple of months of the season, and they’re gone again, or they’re not operating anymore.”
Boucher said the new bylaw still has to pass second and third readings, but their hope is to have it in place soon so they can apply it as their seasonal vendors start to open.
The fee for a vending permit is $500; there are exceptions for vendors participating in a not-for-profit event in the town.