Horse-drawn peddler coming to Vergennes

VERGENNES — Downtown Vergennes will have a turn-of-the-century look — at least once or twice a week — this summer: Aldermen approved on Tuesday an application that will allow a local farmer to set up a horse-drawn vending wagon next to the city green.
Erik Andrus, owner of Ferrisburgh’s Good Companion Bakery, plans to hitch a four-foot-by-seven-foot wagon to a draft horse and drive the rig from his farm — which is about a half-mile east of Route 7 on Burroughs Farm Road — into Vergennes. That plan earned unanimous backing on Tuesday.
Andrus will sell baked goods, meat, eggs and vegetables produced on his farm. His permit will allow him to set up shop for up to three hours on both Fridays and Saturdays through October, and he said he also plans to make side trips down to the Otter Creek Basin to sell to summer boaters.
Andrus first approached the council on April 13, when he volunteered critical information before aldermen could ask: The animal will wear a “horse diaper” to prevent undesirable messes in the city’s center or on its roadways.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Daniels said he was concerned only about the horse’s response to loud sirens from fire, rescue and police vehicles. Andrus said his horses have remained calm even within 30 feet of the freight trains that run near his home.
“I feel comfortable with these horses in a noisy environment,” he said.
Aldermen approved his application with the provision that Andrus work with City Manager Mel Hawley on exactly where the wagon sets up and how the horse is hitched.
Reporter Andy Kirkaldy is at [email protected].

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