Vendor Laws Subject to Change in Meridian

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By John Moffett
The Meridian Times

The Meridian Township board is in the middle of discussions to change the vendor ordinance laws.

Vendor laws have been called into question after multiple reports about late-night vendors knocking on doors and ringing doorbells late at night. One resident even called police because of how late a vendor came to her house.

Even Trustee Angela Wilson had a late-night encounter with a vendor.

“I’ve had someone knock on my door around 8 at night, and, from a parental standpoint it is very disturbing because it then gets the kids out of their nightly routine.” Wilson said.

Police Chief Dave Hall gave his proposals to the board during the April 7 township board meeting, which included raising the price of having a vendor’s license, and having the selling 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. Here are the current ordinances when it comes to vendors.

Hall said that he thinks these changes will obviously stop people knocking on the door late at night, but also limit the number of people and companies coming to doors in Meridian.

Meridian resident Nancy King said she supports the changes, and hopes the board will accept them soon.

“I recently had someone knock on my door at 9 p.m. trying to sell me something, and I can’t believe someone had the nerve to knock on my door and try to sell me something that late at night.” King said. “I would support having the vendor hours shortened, because it doesn’t matter what time it is, those vendors will try to sell you something at any time of the day.” King said.

The only current licensed vendor, Weedman Lawn Service, has declined to comment for this story. While Weedman Lawn Service is the only licensed vendor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Shamrock Lawn Care, Kiwanis Club of Haslett and Edward Jones Investments are vendors who are not required to obtain a vendors license.

Trustee Veenstra had no objection with changing the hours, but questioned the wording in the proposed changes.

“In the paperwork, there was a change saying that no vendor could use bells or sounds while selling, and this came to my mind that may mean that ice cream trucks could not use their music while on the streets,” Veenstra said.

Hall said ice cream trucks can and have been playing music while in neighborhoods and there has been mostly no problems. He did mention that some trucks were excessively loud, and the station has gotten calls about the loud music, so the change can help the police have the power in lowering the volume of the loud ice cream trucks.

During the April 21 township board meeting, the board voted 4-3 to table the ordinance.

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