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|1/26/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Clinton County supervisors approve peddler licensing ordinance|
By Jeremy Huss
Anyone wishing to solicit door-to-door sales in Clinton County will be required to register with the sheriff's office and pay a $5 application fee and $10-per-day license fee following the approval of the third and final reading of a peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants ordinance by the Clinton County Board of Supervisors Monday, Jan. 21.
The ordinance will take effect Feb. 1. A violation is punishable by a fine of $65-$625 and up to 30 days in jail.
County attorney Mike Wolf said the ordinance was developed after Lost Nation mayor Jim Schroeder voiced concerns about door-to-door merchants using high-pressure sales techniques on senior citizens.
Students, route delivery drivers, newspaper delivery employees, members of local clubs, local residents and farmers and religious/charitable organizations are exempt from the licensing requirement.
Wolf said the sheriff's office has prepared a license application form, and he noted sellers must register individually even if they travel as part of a group so the county has a record of who is soliciting in the area.
DCDC budget request
The DeWitt Chamber and Development Co. (DCDC) is seeking a $3,000 budget increase to cover marketing and other costs arising from last year's merger of the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce and the DeWitt Development Co.
DCDC executive director Tami Petsche and Greg Gannon, board member and acting treasurer, made the request at the Jan. 21 meeting of the Clinton County Board of Supervisors.
Petsche said the organization is fully staffed since hiring two part-time staff members in addition to the director - an events organizer and an administrative assistant.
"We've had a lot of success over the last year," Petsche said.
The most recent success involved securing Black Cat Blades, which supplies products to John Deere, as an employer in DeWitt's industrial park.
Petsche said four employees currently are working at the DeWitt location, and the company plans to have 50 employees there within three years for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.
Petsche said the DCDC is continuing a focus on industry but also is branching out to other businesses and has begun holding retail planning meetings to get business owners working together and come up with new ideas to support the retail community.
Workforce development and a shortage of skilled workers remains the biggest obstacle for business development in the area, Petsche said.
"With all these things we want to do, we are hoping we can increase our funding next year from $14,000 to $17,000," Petsche said.
The funds in part would be used to build a new website for the merged organization to replace the individual chamber and development company websites, she said.
Petsche said the outlook for local industry appears to be improving, with businesses like Guardian Glass and Custom Pak hiring workers and business inquiries into the industrial park increasing.
"It seems we're slowly starting to come out of the recession as far as the industries in our area," she said.
The $17,000 funding request for the DCDC is in addition to $12,000 to continue funding for a part-time business education coordinator who works with schools and local employers.
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