Safe, affordable options exist for produce vendors
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- We first told you Tuesday, how Woodbury County wants to crack down on produce vendors along busy roads.
One stand officials are specifically targeting is on the edge of Moville, at the corner of Highway 20 and K-64. County leaders say motorists and the DOT have voiced concerns with the location near the busy intersection. The county engineer wants to set up an ordinance that would prohibit vendors from locating there.
Some of the regular vendors at that corner say, smaller producers aren't able to afford spots in places like Sioux City. However, vendors and city officials say, that's not really the case.
Country Market owner Tammy Donovan says, "We're just home-grown in Elk Point, South Dakota and this is where we sell most of our stuff."
The Country Market's been peddling produce along Hamilton Boulevard for years. Donovan prefers selling in town, rather than closer to home, near Elk Point.
Donovan says, "To me, the traffic's going by too fast, so I think it would be better where the traffic's a little slower and people have time to turn in and park appropriately."
To set up shop in Sioux City, vendors need land owners' permission, and a transient merchant permit, good for three months, for a cost of $35.
"Pretty simple application process. After the police department runs the background check, we issue the license right here from city hall," said city clerk Lisa McCardle.
The city says it's issued only four permits for roadside stands this year, meaning some like are actually operating without.
The farmers market is another option for folks to sell their goods.
Sherer Gardens owner Larry Sherer says, "A lot of customers, like a county fair on a Saturday."
"It's a great opportunity for them to come and market and also get more traffic," says market manager Dee Polak.
And, the market's safely placed in a parking lot downtown. $350 buys a 10-by-20 section for the whole season. The market's manager says, while that sounds like a lot on paper, the fee pays for advertising, and takes care of the regulatory process.
Polak says, "All the farmers come in underneath our merchant license instead of them having to go buy their own separate one."
Where ever merchants decide to sell, officials say, making sure you're legally sound is the first step before harvesting a healthy profit.
The city says, it isn't actively looking for stands without a permit, but they do look into them if they receive citizen complaints. Vendors are required to have their license at the stand, available for anyone to look at.