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Other Views: Keep an open mind regarding mobile businesses

It is beginning to look like the city of Williston will put a six-month moratorium on mobile businesses, with a plan of studying the issue before allowing new businesses to apply.

We support the moratorium. It is always a good idea to take a step backward and take time to understand what is good and bad for the city before creating regulations that will impact the lives of businessmen and businesswomen in the area.

When discussing the moratorium, the city commission was clear that two existing businesses -- a veterinarian and a chiropractor -- would not be impacted. Those two businesses will be excluded and can continue to operate.

That decision was also proper. Both businesses have proven popular and successful in and around Williston, and while the issue of mobile businesses is being discussed, allowing them to continue makes sense.

So far, the city has done well with this issue. But as the idea of mobile businesses, especially what is and isn't allowed is debated at city hall, we urge the city to lean toward permitting businesspeople to operate rather than shutting them down.

If a veterinarian and a chiropractor are OK, which they appear to be, where do you draw the line? The city has already banned mobile food vendors, a decision that was made without much controversy.

But there are entrepreneurs out there, much like chiropractor Stephen Alexander and veterinarian Vince Stenson, who are looking at Williston and the Bakken region and dreaming that they can offer their services to the community.

While we support the city's effort to create rules and come up with guidelines to be used when future mobile businesses want to apply, we urge the city and the commission to keep the door open for others.

Alexander and Stenson have proven that someone who thinks out of the box can benefit the area and others may be able to do the same.

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