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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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NW Looking to Contract, Not License Ice Cream Vendors

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By Christopher South

NORTH WILDWOOD – The City of North Wildwood is looking to put beach ice cream concession contracts out to bid rather than issuing individual licenses.
City Clerk Scott Jett said under the current system, a license sells for between $800 and $900 per year. By putting beach vendors’ contracts out for bid the city could potentially make hundreds of thousands of dollars per contract. Previously, one had to get on a waiting list for a license to vend ice cream on the beach.
Mayor Patrick Rosenello said the city currently has four vendor licenses issued. He said the four holders of those licenses will be able to hold them until they retire.
Under the current ordinance, North Wildwood could choose to offer up to 10 licenses for beach vendors, who must either be a veteran or an exempt firefighter. Under Ordinance 1891, introduced Nov. 14 on first reading, the city plans to offer four more licenses, perhaps as a block. The holder of the licenses could contract for all four licenses, but must also meet the criteria, which include being either a veteran or a member of the Anglesea or North Wildwood Fire companies.
“What this ordinance does is the award goes out for public bid. That will be a better financial situation for the city,” Jett said.  
Rosenello said North Wildwood was not going to remove licenses from anyone holding them, but under the new ordinance, anyone wishing to vend ice cream on the beach would have to bid on a contract. He said bids would probably go out in the spring for the 2023 season. The intention is to initially award a one-year contract, suggesting multiple-year contracts might be awarded in the future.
A question from the public asked if, under the new system, the contract holder would have to be a resident of North Wildwood. The current ordinance says the vendor must be a veteran and a year-round resident. Rosenello said he was not opposed to having a residency requirement in the contract, however, it would place limitations on the city in awarding the contract.
“We don’t want to limit the pool of bidders,” he said.
Rosenello said a number of those who volunteer to fight fires in North Wildwood do not actually live in the city.

 

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