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mimaef

Peddler's License

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My local cachers forums aren't very busy so I'll ask here for some thoughts on the situation before I ask the organization for maybe some help with talking to the city.

I recently went into my City Hall to ask about placing a nice cache on a river walk, surrounded by woods, within the city. They seemed to have an idea of what geocaching was and told me I had to get a peddler's license for anything I wanted to place on city property. Looking at the license, I would have to pay a $250 a year fee and be considered a solicitor or peddler of goods and services. The game itself, however, is a free and family affair for anyone to join in (though yes there is premium membership and a shop if you so desire) so I suspect this may not quite be right. We have a free little library directly attached to the city's Chamber of Commerce as well and as far as I know they don't pay the solicitor fee either.

Does this sound right to you? In Michigan there is a fee to place in state recreational areas, which is waved for members of the Michigan cacher's organization, but even that was only $35. I'm curious if my city may just not have anything else to cover permissions for geocaching so they just lump it into the peddler's license and maybe that might be something we might be able to have a discussion with them about to help foster more family fun activities in the little town.

EDIT: Additionally I don't believe I would be able to properly fill out the form anyway, since I don't represent or work for Groundspeak.

Edited by mimaef

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Are you sure that the city representative you spoke to has a clear understanding of what you wanted to do?

Are there any other caches placed on the same type of "city property"?  If so, then maybe you could contact the CO(s) of such caches and ask them which city representative or department they worked with.

Edited by noncentric
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That's what I'm wondering, if I ended up being referred to the correct person.

As for the other caches in a similar area, I have a suspicion that they didn't ask for permission to place on the city park property since they haven't done maintenance in years and only have under 30 finds despite logging in last august. The others have been archived for maintenance problems. So I'm kind of out of luck with asking anyone who hasn't placed on private property.

Edited by mimaef

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14 minutes ago, mimaef said:

My local cachers forums aren't very busy so I'll ask here for some thoughts on the situation before I ask the organization for maybe some help with talking to the city.

I recently went into my City Hall to ask about placing a nice cache on a river walk, surrounded by woods, within the city. They seemed to have an idea of what geocaching was and told me I had to get a peddler's license for anything I wanted to place on city property. Looking at the license, I would have to pay a $250 a year fee and be considered a solicitor or peddler of goods and services. The game itself, however, is a free and family affair for anyone to join in (though yes there is premium membership and a shop if you so desire) so I suspect this may not quite be right. We have a free little library directly attached to the city's Chamber of Commerce as well and as far as I know they don't pay the solicitor fee either.

Does this sound right to you?

Wow, that doesn't sound right to me! And you're right about the forms...how could you possibly fill them out? That in itself is a clue that something is amiss. I'd do some further checking. Thanks for sharing all this information, too.

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4 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Wow, that doesn't sound right to me! And you're right about the forms...how could you possibly fill them out? That in itself is a clue that something is amiss. I'd do some further checking. Thanks for sharing all this information, too.

Right? I may go and bother the Chamber of Commerce on Monday to ask them since they have the little library out front. If it turns out they do pay the fee every year, well I guess I'm not placing anywhere in town unless we can work something out with the city, haha.

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It might be worth asking your local reviewer for their take on it. I know the ones here are well versed in what places require explicit permission and what don't.

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:

It might be worth asking your local reviewer for their take on it. I know the ones here are well versed in what places require explicit permission and what don't.

That's a good idea, I hadn't thought to ask them as well, thank you!

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I wouldn't give the city any money for hiding a cache. Some thoughts before I offer something you may not have thought about.

Talk with other local active cachers about how they handle things like this. Keep an eye out for a cacher who works for the city. Logs or their profile may help with this. Simply find another place to do a hide until you get your footing on the local issues. other ideas too, see what others have said.

Now here is my favorite way to do a hide. Find a local (small) business where you know the owner. (Knowing the owner, either directly or through someone else, is a HUGE trust factor in your favor. One person I know in a town I don't even live in has introduced me to three other people and that has led to a half dozen cache hides, with more to come.) Small business, few people to engage...not Walmart, try Freds Hardware Store. You only want yo deal with one person, not a bureaucracy . Now develop a draft idea, go to that owner and say, "I have something for you that is easy, fun and free." They all like Free. Then explain the game, your plan, and that you want his blessing to place the cache on his property, and that you want him to have as much fun as the other people playing this goof do. As you make final preparations to do the hide, give him a copy of the cache page, then present him with a new cache page in a couple of weeks so he can see the recent logs, then every 4 months or so after. I usually include a short cover letter thanking him again for "letting us play in his yard".

After a while and things are going well, ask him if he knows anyplace else that you can do a hide.

Cache Happy

 

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Similar to others, I'd be real surprised if any head of parks and recreation didn't know about geocaching today. 

We attended many local government meetings years ago about geocaching, introducing them to the hobby. Some took us months of meetings to finally get them to "trust us" with this odd hobby.  Now years later, most areas (even the cities) have a parks department (that open space, health thing you know...),  and a simple stop gives you whatever geocaching policies they have in their area.   :)

Edited by cerberus1
spllelling
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Just realized that none of us has mentioned this resource yet.  Geocaching Wiki for Michigan

It's a good idea to read the entire page, but certainly look at 1.8 and 1.9 to see if the area you're thinking of is listed there.

Additionally, at the upper-right of the page are the Reviewers for your state, in case you are unsure of whom to reach out to.

Good luck!

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Similar to others, I'd be real surprised if any head of parks and recreation didn't know about geocaching today. 

We attended many local government meetings years ago about geocaching, introducing them to the hobby. Some took us months of meetings to finally get them to "trust us" with this odd hobby.  Now years later, most areas (even the cities) have a parks department (that open space, health thing you know...),  and a simple stop gives you whatever geocaching policies they have in their area.   :)

This is a town of less than 3,000 people and very little tourism. I highly doubt they have actual geocaching policies rather than just lump them into some other activity. Even our local DNR field office was unsure of their own policies about geocaching (they didn't know we have a form for our state among other things) when I visited this week as well to ask a question. It's not a place touched much by these kinds of things. I tried to find our parks department out on my own but our city website is "Powered by Wordpress" and less educational than I was hoping. There's zero mention of it aside from the phone number to call that lets you reserve the pavilion and that doesn't go anywhere useful either. For a place so small you'd think it would be easier to locate the answer. I'm likely going to have to do some leg work around town once the weather breaks.

5 hours ago, noncentric said:

Just realized that none of us has mentioned this resource yet.  Geocaching Wiki for Michigan

It's a good idea to read the entire page, but certainly look at 1.8 and 1.9 to see if the area you're thinking of is listed there.

Additionally, at the upper-right of the page are the Reviewers for your state, in case you are unsure of whom to reach out to.

Good luck!

Thank you for the link, it's been something I've been going over for a few months now while the winter has been rolling on as reference to where I might want to place my series.

I'll definitely be bothering my reviewers. Rusty does all the publishing.

8 hours ago, Mockingbird559 said:

I wouldn't give the city any money for hiding a cache. -snip- Cache Happy

 

I don't mind paying a small fee to hide a cache so they know I am serious about taking care of it. $250 is a little too much though.

Thank you for the small business idea. That may be my second stop if it doesn't work out for the river walk park area if I can find another lovely place in town that's connected to a business. I'm more interested in visual location over just placing in town itself.

Edited by mimaef

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