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Billings Downtown Street Vendor’s Loop Hole Might Get Closed

Billings Gazette

A local street vendor recently found out that because of a possible rule change, he may have to relocate his business.

Francisco Aguirre has been parking his vending trailer on Third Avenue North just off North 27th Street in downtown Billings since late last year. Apparently one can buy a parking meter bag for $5 a day to allow you to park buses or construction equipment on the street for an extended period of time.

With no rule against street vendors renting these bags for every day use Mr. Aguirre soon set up shop, renting 2 parking spots for his catering trailer. Totaling around $200 a month according to Aguirre. This understandably ruffled the feathers of some downtown businesses who pay considerably more for rent and might like the parking spots for prospective customers. A Billings Parking supervisor took these complaints to a city official to recommend they close this loophole in the meter bag policy.

This may sound like a case of David vs. Goliath and that this vendor is being bullied. But if you look at what it takes for a vendor in NYC to stake out a prime piece of real estate you might think Mr. Aguirre was getting quite a deal. Check out the article here.

I’m not sure what a vendor in downtown Billings should pay for a spot to do business, but I do think some clarity in the rules is needed to keep the peace in downtown Billings.

For a more in-depth look at this story visit the Billings Gazette.

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