Brunswick Town Council decided against ordinance changes Monday night that would have allowed food carts to stay overnight at the Town Mall before going on to renew the vendor’s licenses.

The change, which was brought before the council by councilors Suzan Wilson and Kathy Wilson, was intended to make life easier for the vendors and reduce damage to sidewalks caused by loading the carts on and off the mall.

The rule-change would have increased the amount of times vendors are allowed to stay overnight on the mall to 10 nights a year, up from six nights. If a vendor wanted to stay overnight more often, they would have been required to pay an additional $2,000 on top of the $2,000 they already pay to use pads provided by the town.

The new ordinance would have also required the carts supply two 35-gallon trash receptacles, a recycling bin, pay for any electricity hookups above the standard 30 amps, and pay for any damage caused to the sidewalks.

Multiple members of the council expressed distaste at the idea of carts being allowed to stay overnight.

“This is my neighborhood, this is our downtown, this is our community gathering spot, this is not a parking lot,” said Councilor Jane Millett.

Councilor Steve Walker said that the town is already giving them a great benefit by allowing them to use the space.

“End of the day, you have the good fortune of conducting your business on public property,” he said. “I feel we’ve bent over backwards for you guys on my short term on the council so far, by adding spots, by adding electricity, by taking care of things.”

Other councilors, however, felt requiring that the vendors pay extra fees and also pay for any damage was treating them unfairly. Councilor Kathy Wilson pointed out that the farmer’s market, which pays $3,500 a year to utilize the mall twice a week, causes far more damage to the space than the carts.

“I love the farmers market but they cost us a bundle. Because we have to re-sod,” she said. The town has spent up to $12,000 in the past to re-sod the grass on the mall due to damage caused by the farmer’s market. She added that not considering any increase in fees to the farmer’s market, yet also requiring more money from the carts was unfair. “In my mind, it looks a little classist.”

Terry Goan, owner of the food cart Twist-N-Dip, said his experience using the mall has been difficult and that the carts staying on overnight would not cost the town anywhere close to the $2,000 fee that the council was requesting.

“You guys make it so difficult. From the get-go, I have run across one problem, after another with the town of Brunswick,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous, a $2,000 fee.”

After occasionally terse exchanges between members, the council decided to scrap the ability to stay overnight and the requirement that the vendors pay for any damage to the sidewalk. However, they also allowed the vendors to stay for 10 nights instead of just six without penalty and added on the requirement that they have one 33-gallon trash receptacle and a recycling bin.

Soon after considering the changes, the council also decided on whether to renew the licenses for the carts that use the mall. Goan also requested he be allowed to have a gumball machine outside his stand Twist-n-Dip, while Bill Dufresne, owner of the barbecue truck B.B.’s Grill, requested he be allowed to install a folding table on his stand.

“They will be open when we are open and serving customers,” said Dufresne. “We can just pack them up and take them with us.”

Millett was against the idea of allowing either the tables or the gumball machine.

“I am not in favor of the picnic tables, this is not a sit-down restaurant,” she said. She added that allowing a gumball machine could make the mall look like “Coney Island.”

In the end, the council renewed the licenses for 2018, and decided to allow the table and gumball machine.

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