With Saint Patrick's Day around the corner, it is common practice for street vendors to setup along parade routes.
However, in Wallingford those vendors may vanish because a complaint told the town that they're taking away from taxpaying businesses.
On Tuesday, Eyewitness News visited North Plains Industrial Road where Danut Sintea is the lone street vendor on the street.
Sintea told Eyewitness News that his yearly permit costs $250, but next year that price could raise to an unknown amount because of recent complaints.
"How come nobody else can make a living?" said Sintea, who added he makes between $10 and $30 per day as a vendor.
Geno Zandri owns a business on Route 5, which is about a mile away from North Plains Industrial Road.
He said it is prime real estate for street vendors and is speaking on behalf of several business owners against the vendors.
"They're only making small money a few times a year," he said. "But, the thing that hurts is that they're taking away from established businesses who are paying property tax in our community."
Street vendors told Eyewitness News that many pay a $50 fee to work one day, usually holidays or special events.
Zandri told Eyewitness News those cheap application fees are appealing and bring in more vendors.
In turn, the small permit fees take money away from his fellow businesses.
"They (business owners) have overhead in order to stay in business and if vendors take away from that business, little by little, it could get to the point where it could run some people out of business," Zandri said.
Residents who talked to Eyewitness News have mixed opinions about the street vendors.
"We have enough restaurants to cover it and I don't think the sanitation is good with the street vendors," said Harold Scott of Wallingford.
"It's nice to have vendors go around and see things," said Ann DeJesus of Wallingford.
Sintea said he is considering serving hot dogs in a different zip code.
"Then I'll just move to the next town," he said.
The Wallingford Town Council is currently hearing this complaint with no resolution in sight.
Calls to Wallingford Mayor William W. Dickinson were not immediately returned to Eyewitness News.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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