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Merchants Protest Increased Street Fair Fees

Nyack, July 22 — The Village Board got an earful from Nyack’s merchants last night in response to increased fees for street fair vendors. The fee for “Hawking and Peddling” licenses was raised from $10 to $25 per vendor on June 10. This cost is included in the fee vendors pay to participate in Nyack’s street fairs, typically ranging from $125 to $300 per booth.

Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and ACADA, the Arts, Crafts and Antique Dealer’s Association, expressed strong disapproval for the new regulations at the July 22 Village Board meeting, saying that steep fees would discourage vendors from participating in future street fairs. The ACADA also cited increased costs for running the street fairs including charges for public works, parking and police.

“The increase in fees will hurt all of the vendors, especially vendors not associated with the Arts Crafts and Antiques Dealers Association of Nyack,” says John Dunnigan, President of the ACADA.  “Increasing fees would actually hurt our main goal, which is to advertise and promote Nyack as a destination for commerce and tourism in the Hudson Valley.”

The Village Board increased the fee in June to try to close a budget gap brought on by the recession. “Nyack’s former $10 fee for street-fair vendors was on the books for many years but was never enforced,” says Nyack Mayor Richard Kavesh. “The Village Board began discussing a new rate of $25 several months ago, we opened the process up for public comment, and we didn’t receive one negative comment. We implemented the new rate to help offset some of the very significant DPW, Parking Authority, and police overtime that these fairs cost village taxpayers.”

Kavesh says he doesn’t think the increase, which translates into about $2 an hour per vendor, will discourage vendors from participating in future fairs. “I know that all the vendors are getting their money’s worth from the clientele that Nyack attracts to these events, and I’m confident that visitors and vendors will keep coming back to our unique and beautiful village.”

In response to the complaints, Nyack’s Trustees will delay any new fees for 30 days to give the business community and the board time to further discuss the new fees.

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