After weeks of discussion and a revision, Shenandoah City Council approved 4-1 a peddler’s fee during their meeting scheduled Tuesday, July 9.

The policy states fees will be $10 for one day; $15 for one week; $20 for a month; $60 for six months and $120 for a year.

Council member Toni Graham cast the only no vote. She said she attended a Fourth of July party with several people who were in their 20s and 30s and were opposed to a high fee.

“It’s a shame Shenandoah would do that,” she said about the group’s sentiment.

For weeks, council has been researching a fee for mobile vendors who sell in town. The discussion was based on a food truck that has been in Page County and in Shenandoah, but the policy applies to door-to-door sales and other businesses that sell in town but do not have a Shenandoah address.

Shelly Warner from the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association said a fee is fair considering established businesses and owners in Shenandoah.

“Take account the number of businesses and building owners who pay taxes,” she said.

Warner explained how the issue originally happened when Shenandoah was a stop on RAGBRAI in 2016. At that time, the fee was $900 which Warner called “over the top.”

“A vendor fee of $100 a month or $1,200 a year is a fraction of paying taxes day in and day out,” she said.

The fee and its intent were questioned by audience members.

Sara Vance asked if people selling sweet corn from trailers will have to pay the fee.

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“If you are going to say that it has wheels and that’s how it should be charged, then it should be done fairly,” she said.

Shenandoah Mayor Dick Hunt said the fee will not be applied to people who sell corn and live in Shenandoah. Hunt said a $10 daily fee is reasonable knowing how often vendors are in Shenandoah.

“That’s two sandwiches. I don’t see many food trucks in the winter,” he said.

Craig Morris said he understands the concept of the fee, but fears it may be keeping potential businesses from coming to Shenandoah.

“We are trying to keep people in town now, but we need to get more people to come,” he said.

Doug Vance said the Page County Cattlemen’s Association, which has a mobile grill to cook and serve food, was not interested in working in Shenandoah for the Fourth of July.

“The perception you have given about this is that outside businesses are not welcome,” he said.

A representative from the cattlemen’s association told the Valley News Wednesday the fee has never been an issue and its grill was already scheduled to be in New Market on the Fourth of July. The grill was recently used at Shenandoah’s Fareway store to benefit the food bank.

Council passed the third reading of the proposed peddler’s fee although the fee amounts had changed since it was first made into a motion weeks ago.

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