Deputy Mayor to seek vending fee revisions

PORT HAWKESBURY: Two developments that could impact the future operation of mobile food vendors and similar developments within the town boundaries are set to reach the town council table within the coming days.

Deputy Mayor Trevor Boudreau confirmed this week that he will request that the fees included in the town’s new Vending By-Law be placed on the agenda for the town’s next Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, which is slated for this coming Tuesday evening at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

Boudreau, the lone councillor to vote against the Vending By-Law when it originally came to a vote in October, reiterated his opposition to the fees struck as part of the new municipal legislation after this week’s regular council session, which saw council vote to formally repeal the town’s previous Licenses and Permits By-Law. That legislation carried a universal $300 operational permit for mobile vendors seeking to set up shop within the town limits on a temporary basis, as compared to the new by-law’s charge of $2,000 for a one-year permit for mobile canteen owners, who would also pay $1,500 for a six-month permit or $300 for an “occasional permit” lasting fewer than 10 days.

“From my perspective, going to $300 to $1,500, a 500 per cent increase, was quite a substantial increase,” Boudreau told reporters following the regular council session. “So… I’d like to hear what others have to say.”

While he did not offer a suggestion as to a more acceptable fee structure, Boudreau suggested that he feels the new town council elected this past October is open to a free exchange of ideas regarding the best way to treat temporary mobile businesses.

“‘Fair’ is different to everybody, as I’ve learned over the last four years,” Boudreau remarked.

“But I think everybody’s very reasonable here, and we’re going to have a good discussion on it – I’m hopeful.”

Addressing the issue during the council session at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio, municipal solicitor Larry Evans reminded councillors that the Vending By-Law’s fee structure can be quickly altered at any time, despite the repeal of the Licenses and Permits By-Law.

“Council still has the opportunity to deal with that on a go-forward basis, and repealing this [previous] by-law has nothing to do with that,” Evans explained.

The Capt’n Kenny’s Fresh truck was in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Port Hawkesbury last year.

In the meantime, the host for one of the Vending By-Law’s most vocal opponents, Capt’n Kenny’s Fresh co-owner Ken Shasky, has launched a formal re-zoning request for the parking lot that hosted Shasky’s mobile seafood truck twice a week between June and December of 2016.

Town staff is currently preparing a report regarding a request from Holy Trinity Anglican Church to the Eastern District Planning Commission (EDPC) to rezone the church parking lot at the intersection of Reeves and Pitt Streets from Institutional to Highway Commercial, to accommodate the future placement of the Capt’n Kenny’s Fresh vehicle.

According to a report presented by town councillor Jeremy White at December ‘s Committee of the Whole meeting, the church’s request will also take centre stage at an upcoming meeting of the town’s Planning Advisory Committee.