CAMDEN — This evening, July 7, at a regularly scheduled Camden Select Board meeting, a request from a business owner to set up a mobile boutique on town property will be considered.
The query comes as a result of COVID-19, as business owners struggle to limit the number of customers inside stores, and maintain suitable physical distancing.
Jennel Johnson-Pendleton, owner of Barefoot in Denim, on Bay View Street, is asking the town to set up a mobile shop on Knowlton Street, below the Teen Center.
“After discussing this with Town staff, we believe that the Tannery property would be best suited for this type of event,” said Camden Planner Jeremy Martin, in a July 2 memo to the Camden Select Board and Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell.
“In my review of the Town’s Hawking and Peddling Ordinance, the SB or their designee may allow use of town property for hawking and peddling, as defined, as part of an event. I would suggest that you approve Barefoot in Denim, as the first vendor to participate in a Covid19 related “Pop-Up Friday” event,” he wrote. “We are reaching out the Chamber and the Camden Area Business Group, to let their members know that this is in the works.”
In his memo (see entire Select Board July 7 meeting packet here), Martin said Camden: “has been soliciting ideas from local businesses on ways that the Town could help support them through these challenging times. We have specifically solicited input about the use of public spaces. We have responded to restaurant owner’s requests to make outdoor seating available and have placed picnic tables at the Public Landing, the Village Green and at Harbor Park. Additionally, at the request of downtown business owners we have also opened up the bathroom facilities at the Public Landing and have placed numerous signs downtown reminding our residents and visitors of the need to wear masks and to appropriately social distance.
Johnson-Pendleton is hoping the town will allow her to set up shop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Pop-Up Fridays for eight weeks. She noted in her written request to the town that she declined to sign another lease on her store, and said the store’s expansion plans had included launching an e-commerce site.
“We successfully launched the online store in January and with the continued State closures Barefoot in Denim has had to pivot our complete 2020 strategy and look for ways to bridge the economic realities for the remainder of the year,” she wrote. “We are working diligently to survive this pandemic and keep our dream alive until we can get back into a new Camden storefront in the Spring of 2021. The global pandemic has impacted us all and pushed us down but Barefoot in Denim will not stay down. The company’s plan is to stay alive. We are requesting assistance and entrepreneurial thinking from the Town of Camden Planning Board to explore creative alternatives to enable us to serve our Camden and surround area customers.”
“With this on the agenda it is our hope that we may get more requests from local businesses to take part in this event,” wrote Martin. “Town Attorney, Bill Kelly is drafting a license agreement that we will use with each vendor, that will include indemnification language and the obligation of the vendor to name the Town as an additional insured on their liability policy.”
Town of Camden Select Board Meeting July 7, 2020 – 6:30 p.m.
French Conference Room – will not be open for the public to attend
This meeting will be done by teleconference through Zoom and streamed at: www.youtube.com/TownofCamdenMaine.
The YouTube platform will allow anyone watching to publicly comment on any items.
1. Public Input on non-agenda items
Approval of Board Minutes from June 16, 2020 Select Board Reports - Dedication of Town Report
Approval of the following Victualer & Lodging Licenses: Birchwood Lodge & Farmette, Camden Deli, The Lodge at Camden Hills, The Smoothie Shack, Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe
Approval of Village Green Use Application – Bay Chamber Concerts
Approval of and Determining a Location for an Open Air Market
Approval of Personnel Board’s Recommended Personnel Policy Amendments Participation in High Water Mark Initiative
Update on Keep ME Healthy Grant
Review of No Parking on Rte 52 (Near Ledges)
Renewal of Town Manager’s Contract
AS WASTEWATER COMMISSIONERS
1. Approval of quarterly billings and certificate of Commitment of Sewer Bills for January 17, 2020 – April 16, 2020 in the amount of $306,569.02.