Amended ordinance sets rules for transient vendors in city of Vicksburg

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Transient vendors will have to follow a strict set of rules if they’re planning to do business in Vicksburg.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday amended the city’s transient vendor ordinance, setting a series of guidelines for vendors who come to town looking to market their goods in the city.

“Basically, it sets requirements for transient vendors,” City Attorney Nancy Thomas said.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the amendment was the result of complaints “where fly-by-night vendors were coming in and setting up in parking lots and selling cars. We have no objection to selling cars, but I do think you ought to show some ownership to the property.

“You ought to show something more than just setting up,” he said.

After the meeting, Flaggs said city officials had received complaints from local car dealers about the car sales.

The amendment, he said, “Will allow them (transient vendors) to have some attachment to the city of Vicksburg. This will allow them to invest in the community rather than being a fly-by-night vendor.”

According to the ordinance:

• Transient vendors will not sell any products or services on any property without written permission from the property owner or legal occupant of the site where the items or service will be sold. The notarized owner’s or occupant’s permission with the owner’s signature will be given to the city clerk with contact information for the property owner or legal occupant.

• Any tent on the property is limited to 400 square feet.

• If the vendor is located on a parking lot of other businesses a maximum of 20 parking spaces or 20 percent of the parking lot, whichever is less, will be occupied by the vendor.

• There will not be any camper, RV or any other vehicle or trailer that contains sleeping quarters on the property.

• Sanitary toilet facilities must be available and usable within 150 feet of the temporary business. Portable toilets will not be allowed. Permanent facilities must be available during business hours, including weekends and holidays.

• No goods can be sold between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

• The transient vendor or business cannot connect to, or use the property owner’s utilities and temporary utility poles are not allowed. The vendor must have a generator, solar battery or some other power source.

• Transient food vendors that prepare food must furnish the city with a certificate from the Mississippi Department of Health showing that the state requirements have been met.

Any mobile food preparation vehicle must have self-contained utilities and cannot use the city’s utilities or private utilities that are not self-contained and integral to the vendor.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John