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LINCOLN -- Lincoln City Council adopted an ordinance at its June meeting to make changes to the Municipal Code dealing with non-permanent business establishments and transient peddlers or solicitors.

The ordinance requires non-transient business establishments and transient peddlers or solicitors to pay a tax or license fee of $20 per year plus $10 per each additional employee. Each is required to keep the permit on hand to show upon request.

It includes a new definition of a peddler or solicitor: someone who sells or offers for sale goods and other merchandise by going house to house or offers goods and food/drink items on any public road, street, square or other place.

A non-permanent business establishment is a vendor or any person offering a product or service from a physical location in the city that is open for less than five consecutive days or less than 15 days per year and is not served by water, sewer and electrical service.

Peddlers and solicitors are allowed to canvas, solicit or make calls in a residential neighborhood between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Solicitation is prohibited on Sundays, state or national legal holidays and during the month of December.

A licensed solicitor is prohibited from calling on a residence where the owner or resident has posted a sign that says "No Solicitors" or similar wording. In addition, solicitors are required to leave the premises when requested to do so by a resident or another person.

The ordinance exempts school groups from Lincoln School District and vendors with the Arkansas Apple Festival that have already paid a fee to participate in the festival.

Anyone found guilty of violating the ordinance is subject to a $50 fine per occurrence.

In other action, the council passed a resolution for direction on how to dispose of $65,600 of unclaimed money in the city's water meter deposit fund.

City Council member Johnny Stowers has discussed the money in this fund for several years now. According to the resolution some of this money has been in the account for as long as 50 years.

The auditor of the state has refused to accept the money and city personnel have made efforts to refund as much of the unclaimed money as possible.

The resolution directs the city attorney to pursue court action to determine the correct, legal way to dispose of the money.

The council started a new procedure at its June meeting that allows a public comment period for citizens to address council members, up to a maximum of three minutes for each person.

Citizens are asked to sign in at the beginning of the meeting if they want to speak.

Mayor Doug Hutchens told those at the June 18 meeting the public comment period was not a debate, and the council would not respond to any statements but would take notes.

"This is a test run," Hutchens said. "We'll be learning as we go. Keep your address formal, no cussing or foul language."

Citizens also cannot make personal attacks against any council member or others.

A few people spoke. One man was not happy how the police handled an accident. Another talked about possible illegal activity going on behind a business and said he wanted the information passed on to the police department.

In other news, the city council:

• Increased the Arkansas Public Water System fee on water bills from 30 cents per month to 40 cents per month. This fee increase is the result of legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. Revenue from the fee is used to support the Safe Drinking Water Act monitoring and other drinking water programs.

• Approved an ordinance to require successful applications for city land use services to return to the city paperwork that has been approved by Washington County. This ordinance is the result of problems the city has had with people bringing back the proper paperwork as required.

• Approved an ordinance authorizing the mayor to promulgate forms and applications for all city services.

• Adopted an ordinance to rezone land owned by Redeemed Investments from R-1 to R-1.1, which allows shorter setbacks for the sides and rear. Council member Doug Moore abstained from the vote saying the company is owned by a family member.

Council members Troy Myers and Bobby McDonald were absent from the meeting.

General News on 07/10/2019

Print Headline: Council Adopts Rules For Door-To-Door Sales

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