Business Solicitors Face Higher Fees in Barnegat

Apr 18, 2018

An ordinance adopted by the Barnegat Township Committee April 3 will result in huge license fee increases for business solicitors operating in the municipality. It will also require criminal background checks.

Police Chief Keith Germain said that recently, residents had been complaining about solar panels salespeople knocking on the doors.

“They would stop by a house, the homeowner would say they weren’t interested, and then a week later, the same salesperson would come back,” said Germain. “The committee agreed that we needed to have more controls over these solicitations, so this ordinance should help.”

Township Committeeman Albert Bille noted that prior to the ordinance, solicitors paid a $10 fee for him or herself and $15 for each additional individual.

“Now the fee is going to be $1,000, and $150 for any additional people involved,” he said.

Bille said the ordinance does not affect nonprofit organizations such as scouting groups, youth sports teams or political candidates.

The ordinance places solar panel sales representatives and others in a new term known as “mobile vendor.” They are defined as people who “go from house to house, place to place or street to street, conveying or transporting goods, merchandise, products, wares, food or drink or any product thereof, offering or exposing the same for sale, or making sales and deliveries to purchasers, or who engages in any of the foregoing (sic) activities from a stationary location on the street or other public place.”

Upon receipt of the application to the township, the vendor will be referred to the police chief, who will conduct “an investigation of the applicant’s business and moral character as he deems necessary for the protection of the public welfare.” Within 30 days, the chief will approve or disapprove the application. If it is rejected, the applicant can have the matter heard before the township committee. 

During the public portion of the April 3 meeting, resident Robert Russo said he conducted a poll on the Barnegat Pride Facebook Page, and reported 217 out of 222 surveyed were in favor of tougher controls.

 “We have to do something because these solicitors are out of control and are a pain in the butt,” he said.

— Eric Englund

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