At their April 21 regular meeting, the Village of Telkwa council established new mobile vendor fees.
There are three sites available in Telkwa for mobile vendors, one each at Eddy Park, Riverside and the Telkwa Museum parking lot.
The cost for each license, in addition to the $60 business license fee, depends on the location, village services available and parking available.
Each vendor is assessed taxes on the land they occupy, based on 400 square feet at $2.9/year/sq. ft., which averages out to $97/month.
In addition, a vendor at Eddy Park is charged $21 for the water/sewer services available, whereas as the Riverside location would incur a charge of $7 for available sewer services.
Each location also pays a $33/month fee for two parking spaces.
The Riverside and Eddy Park locations also carry a $39/month fee for their scenic locations.
Taxes for each location are $30/month.
“I appreciate the work that staff has done to clarify the rates,” Councillor Rimas Zitkauskas said.
“It’s hard to get the exact equivalent of the costs to run a year-round business compared to a seasonal mobile vendor.
“I believe the calculated costs are comparable.”
Although council passed the motion to accept the new fees, the motion was amended to give leeway to owners of a mobile business on how they pay for their licenses.
The original proposition was to have mobile vendors pay five months rent up front.
“I think there should be a bit of flexibility there,” Zitkauskas said.
Given all of the costs of establishing a business and the other costs associated with the mobile vendor license, Zitkauskas said the requirement to pay five months rent up front might serve as a deterrent.
“This is not about generating revenue for the community, it’s about encouraging [business] people to get a start and hopefully we end up with rental retail space and they’ll be able to move up to something more permanent,” Zitkauskas said.
Zitkauskas suggested the required five-month obligation remain, but that mobile vendors be required to pay rent up front for two months, with the amount for the second month set aside to cover the last month’s rent.
“I don’t think I’m opposed to it [change from five month to two-month rent up front], so long as the five-month term stays in place,” Councillor Rick Fuerst said.
Council also heard from Telkwa Volunteer Fire Department deputy fire chief, Randy Cunningham, looking for support to establish a FireSmart program in Telkwa.
To highlight the need for the program, Cunningham shared the one message he heard at a recent conference, from representatives of communities ravaged by wildfires.
“The one thing each said was it didn’t take very long for their fire department to get overwhelmed,” Cunningham said.
The FireSmart program is well established across Canada, Cunningham said and is intended to help communities prepare for the potential of a wildfire entering the community, as well as providing guidelines and advice on how to manage the landscape, especially at the wildland urban interface where wildfires enter communities.