Aldermen vote to amend orginance governing transient vendors

STARKVILLE — The city of Starkville will allow transient vendors to set up temporary facilities and sell goods on public property.

The board of aldermen voted to amend a local ordinance governing the vendors. The change will gives vendors the ability to set up a stand in a public parking space and sell goods such as food and clothing.

The change will take effect in 30 days.

Vendors will still need to obtain a permit before setting up business. Vendors cannot sell alcohol and state Department of Health regulations must be met.

Supporters said the idea was to help existing businesses go mobile and create opportunities for other entrepreneurs.

“In this community we’re seeing an increasing demand for it so the question is, is this something the city wants to engage in,” said Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman.

Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said having the ordinance in place opens opportunities for locals — particularly during weekends of high traffic volume in the city — to offer their services to residents and visitors of Starkville.

“The general idea behind this is food vendors. It’s my hope that we can open up the process so more progressive-type individuals can explore the options of restaurant development,” Dumas said.

The amended ordinance also allows street vendors to set up on public properties for 12 hours at a time.

“When the traffic counts go down, then you’re kind of stuck here, so if you have the ability to move with the traffic you can definitely increase your sales and profits tremendously,” said Num-Num’s food truck owner Jason Roden.

Roden said the change would be good for the local economy.

He said restaurants can increase sales by expanding with mobile units, and new businesses can grow as well. He said the vendors’ unique food might fill a void and generate more traffic for other businesses.

“The students, who have come by here, are very excited about it. It gives them a chance to stop and go, so they don’t have to go to a restaurant, sit down and take 30 to 40 minutes to eat. It’s just two or three minutes, get it and go,” Roden said.

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