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Yearly Permit Fee Could Double for Food Truck, Farmer

Proposal would double annual permit fee and cap number of yearly 'mobile food vendor' licenses at three.

A hot dog vendor on Main Street by the Chase bank, a farmer who sells produce in the parking lot behind the former Esposito's market on Elmer Street, and another food truck that operates at a cleaners are three "mobile food vendors" who would have to pay $1,000 next year for yearly licenses under an ordinance that was unanimously introduced by the Borough Council this week, officials said.

The proposed yearly license fee for peddlers and solicitors is double the current $500 annual fee, which was set in 1990, Councilman Robert Landrigan said.

They also would remain the only mobile food vendors with yearly licenses if they choose to renew their licenses at the higher rate, because the law would cap the number of yearly mobile food vendor licenses at three, down from the current limit of five.

Vendors would have a 10-day window to renew their licenses before they expire, otherwise the licenses could be awarded on a first come first serve basis.

Monthly licenses for peddlers and solicitors are available for $150 and weekly licenses are $75.

Landrigan said the law, which also adds the borough zoning officer to the location approval and enforcement process, in addition to police, is designed to "better manage the process" of having vendors in Madison and protect the borough's brick and mortar businesses.

The law, "Ordinance of the Borough of Madison Amending Chapter 139 of the Borough Code Entitled 'Peddling and Soliciting' to Include Approval of Zoning Permit and Other Amendments," is scheduled for a public hearing and final vote at the governing body's Oct. 10 meeting.

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