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New Market acts on solicitation penalty, utility bills

By Alex Bridges - abridges@nvdaily.com

Soliciting without permission in New Market could now cost a person $250 if found guilty.

Town Council on Monday voted to approve additions to the code regarding solicitation without appropriate registration. The action gives the court direction by defining the penalty if found guilty in court of committing such a violation. The change allows the court to find a person guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor, which, under state law, is punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Town Manager Evan Vass on Tuesday noted that New Market has had the prohibition on soliciting without registration on the books. Until Monday, the town code did not define the maximum punishment for the violation.

Also at the meeting, Council voted to approve an ordinance related to New Market's billing policies for water and sewer service. The Virginia legislature earlier this year approved changes to state code, which required New Market and other localities to amend their ordinances. Changes mandated by the commonwealth provides a utility customer up to 75 days to settle delinquent accounts, compared to the town's current policy of 25 days. Public works officials advised this change could result in concurrent bills for delinquent accounts since the town bills in arrears. Also, the current refundable deposit of $100 may not cover a customer's final bill.

Council also discussed and approved certain considerations for the New Market Chamber of Commerce pertaining to its 18th annual Heritage Days Fall Festival scheduled for Oct. 27-28.

Festival organizers asked to use the municipal parking lot for food and craft vendors; sidewalks north and south of the intersection of Va. 211 and Congress Street; and parking spaces for craft vendors along Congress Street from West Old Cross Road to Stuart Street. The chamber also asked for a waiver of the itinerant merchant's fee for the weekend.

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