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Ironically, this was one of the locations Salema could set up.
REPORTING · 21st June 2010
Walter McFarlane
It’s been a wild journey to for someone who wishes to open a Hot Dog Stand… and it is not over yet…

Jose Salema took the stand at the April 19th Regular meeting of Council to speak about the Hot Dog Stand he has opened, introducing it as Kitimat’s newest business, Dogz Gone Wild.

“It’s a mobile food cart. I would sell hotdogs, smokies, chips and things like that. You will find it mostly at events such as the Hill Climb [and] Canada Day,” said Salema.

“When I applied for a business license, I got a paper stating in the box that I am not located on District Property for doing this type of business. I found that those locations were not really adequate for the business I’m trying to create here. It’s not a 7days a week business, it’s a part time business mostly for events,” said Salema.

He stated the locations he had been given, which were located in parking lots in the down town core, did not cut it. He requested to set up shop between Wakita’s Home Hardware and the Tamitik Ice Rink. He explained his business is a mobile cart 3 feet wide and 8 feet long. If he set up shop in front of a store, people would be forced to move around it. He said the area he is requesting to set up in should not impede foot traffic.

Councillor Randy Halyk made some inquiries about running a food cart and what kind of hook ups it required. Salema, as a part of his response, explained his cart was self contained so it could be brought out into the woods for an event. Council had no other questions so Salema sat down.

The hotdog stand came up again under reports. Councillor Bob Corless made a motion to forward it to the Advisory Planning Commission (APC). Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to see the comments from the APC.

Hall stated when they first reviewed the application, they looked at the Districts Policies and procedures. However, it was suggested this stand would require a new bylaw. The motion was called and carried.

However, this new business would not go without opposition. At the May 3rd meeting of Council, a letter from Esso Owner/Manager Al Young was received for information.

“I am a business in this town that will be affected as I sell hot dogs and other items and if this individual is allowed to set up on public property, then so can I and multitude of other sidewalk vendors. As far as that goes, I can set up a mini corner store on wheels across from Toni’s Corner Store. Lets get real here. Sending the issue to the Advisory Commission is like saying: ‘Council does not want to deal with this issue and let’s have them deal with it,’” wrote Young.

He suggested this would have an impact on all the non profit groups who raised money through hot dog sales and encouraged Council to decline the request from Salema as he does not have a store front or pay taxes on the land his stand is set up on.

“The property is mine and all the other tax payers and it is not for private enterprise to gain advantage over tax paying businesses,” wrote Young. “I will be very offended if I see him on public property, even part time. Even if he wants to go into the bush and sell his hotdogs, then I would question who owns the woods around here and did he get permission to do so? I hope Council does the right thing and puts a stop to this kind of back door competition.”

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to have administration provide Council with a copy of the Vancouver Sidewalk vendor bylaws. He recalled there was a similar situation in Vancouver and the community addressed it through a licensing fee. He wanted to see it when they make their decision. The motion was carried unanimously.

The APC met May 18th. From their meeting, they advised Council to leave the current mobile vending locations permitted by the Truck Vendor Policy as is. This was amended so an exception can be granted for the proposed location outside of Tamitik when the Tamitik Concession is not open. The motion was further amended to allow Mayor and Council to set application fees, licenses and permit fees based on the fee structures in other Northern communities. All motions were carried.

While approving the APC Minutes at the Council Meeting on June 7th, Councillor Bob Corless stated the APC minutes included this information. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall said it would come back at a later meeting.
Somebody hand him a tissue please!
Comment by Jessy Damaso on 22nd June 2010
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Now that I got that out of the way lets move on to the issue. The issue with this whole situation is the DOK Business License Bylaw is somewhat dated. Times have changed and so have businesses but the bylaws have remained basically the same (vague at times too). If you visit most cities in Canada these types of mobile vendors make very good money depending on their location.

As it is, there is nothing in the bylaw in Kitimat to accomodate this type of mobile vendor (hotdog stand) properly. Mr. Salema needs foot traffic not vehicle traffic. Mr. Salema is thus left to use the existing spots designated for mobile truck vendors (prawn guy, etc). Although, money is to be had come summer time (Friday and Saturday nights) with two of the locations if you ask me. Corner of the Dairy Queen parking lot (Ol'Keg) and the dirt lot across from the Kitimat Hotel (if it's still open that is). People coming out of bars are hungry and as many people know hot dogs will do the job!

The solution to the issue is simple, make Mr. Salema purchase a regular business license for the year at $75 as it stands now (or did when I was the business license inspector). DOK can then set up designated pad locations throughout the downtown core (court yard of the mall, between Wakita's and Tamitik etc, Riverlodge, Nechako Centre, etc. Place a monetary value to rent the spots at a daily rate or offer the spot for the full year at a yearly rate. Problem solved! Everyone enjoys tasty hot dogs from the grill.

Why Council has to check with the APC is beyond me. It's not rocket science to come up with a solution to this. Every other community seems to understand how to make it work. Although, nothing will ever be good enough for good ol' Al. I'll say this again too; Al stop with the whole competition spiel it's all part of doing business. As it stands, Mr. Salema is doing nothing wrong. Don't bring the non-profit groups into it either.
I love smokies
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 21st June 2010
All I can say is that I was so disappointed when the hotdog stand at the Canadian Tire store in Terrace was no longer available. The smokies were delicious and we would head over to the west end of town to buy one for lunch - and of course make our rounds of Canadian Tire while we were there. I'm sure the store benefited not just from our business but from many others who craved the dogs.