Council gives probationary nod to roving fruit and veggie stand

Council gives probationary nod to roving fruit and veggie stand

NORTH PROVIDENCE – A Providence man is looking to re-establish an old-time kind of venture in a new way in North Providence, proposing a mobile cart peddling fresh fruit and vegetables.

Lawrence O’Reilly approached the Town Council last week for approval of a peddler/vendor license. After he offered some vague answers about where and when he plans to sell his goods, Mayor Charles Lombardi rose and expressed some concern about approving such a license without officials knowing exactly what O’Reilly has planned.

Council members had asked O’Reilly where he intends to sell, and he mentioned “different areas,” including basketball courts and ballparks. He said he would “have to keep moving along” and wouldn’t spend long in any one place.

Councilor Stefano Famiglietti asked about when he plans to sell his goods, and O’Reilly said it will be a part-time gig.

Council President Dino Autiello noted that if O’Reilly plans to actually enter parks, he needs approval through the Recreation Department. He responded that he’ll just stay on the side of the street and the periphery of parks.

Autiello emphasized that this is a different type of peddler license than the council typically approves, as most peddlers are selling such items as fireworks or flowers on specific dates and in certain locations for such holidays as Mother’s Day, Easter or the Fourth of July.

He also mentioned that O’Reilly would need a Sunday sales license if he plans to sell on a Sunday.

Lombardi urged the council to be careful about giving a peddler “carte blanche” access to go where he pleases. He said he could see a situation where pulling off to the side of a road such as Smith Street might cause a traffic problem, among other potential issues.

“I’m a little concerned,” said Lombardi.

At Lombardi’s request, Councilor Ken Amoriggi made the motion, backed by the rest of the council, to approve the vendor license on a fourth-month probationary basis to see what sort of complaints come in and what police have to say about the venture, contingent on O’Reilly providing the town clerk’s office with a list of planned locations and times he plans to sell his goods.