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Fundraiser nearly foiled by Vernon bylaw ticket

City has cancelled a ticket issued to Samosa Joes during NOYFSS event
North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society communications director Vicki Proulx (left) receives a cheque from Joe Patel of Samosa Joes following a fundraiser at the Vernon business Wednesday, June 21. (Contributed)

A Vernon business raising money for charity nearly had to dip into its own funds to pay a bylaw ticket issued at its fundraiser.

Samosa Joes, located in the 2900 block of 33rd Street, hosted a three-hour event Wednesday, June 21, raising money for North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS).

The event sold $1,350 in samosas in three hours, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to NOYFSS. But a traffic officer noticed the event on the sidewalk outside the business, complete with a Vernon radio station broadcasting on location. The officer asked Samosa Joes if they had a proper hoarding permit, which allows closure or occupation of a public sidewalk near its business for a charity event.

When it was determined there was no hoarding permit, a bylaw compliance officer joined in to address the situation. Because of potential liability, a bylaw ticket in the amount of $150 was issued to Samosa Joes.

The City of Vernon, in response to an email from The Morning Star, said Samosa Joes applied for a hoarding permit on June 6.

“One of the conditions to receive this type of permit is for the business operator to provide proof of liability insurance that includes the city as a named insured,” said city communications manager Christy Poirier. “The business operator was made aware of this condition but was unable to provide the necessary insurance and, therefore, no permit was issued.”

Poirier said a solution was ultimately found to place the event tent on private property, adjacent to the business, so that sidewalk hoarding was no longer required.

The usual practice for Bylaw Compliance Services, said Poirier, is to “educate and seek a solution of compliance, first and foremost.” Therefore, she added, “it is very unfortunate that a ticket was issued prior to working with the business operator to find the solution of relocating the event tent to private property.”

Bylaw Compliance staff has since reviewed the circumstances and is now actively working to resolve the matter in a more positive way which includes wiping out the fine.

“We can confirm the ticket has been cancelled and bylaw staff will be reaching out directly to the business operator and radio station to rectify the situation,” said Poirier.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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