Arnold Bangerter tells his customers the produce stand that has occupied a corner of his family farm for nearly a century will close permanently Saturday.
Bangerter blames Centerville city officials, who want him to buy a city business license and make some changes in the layout of his small stand at the corner of Main Street and Pages Lane.Bangerter, 77, said he offered to buy a business license but balks at other city requirements, including submitting a site plan to the city Planning Commission and obtaining a conditional-use permit.
"I'm not going to go through all the harassment they're trying to put me through," said Bangerter. "I'm not going to put myself under all that jurisdiction and bureaucracy they want to subject me to."
Instead, he has been telling his customers, he'll close up the stand where he's worked since he was seven years old and call it a day.
Centerville officials say they don't want Bangerter to shut down his stand. They just want him to play by the same rules as other businesses.
"We've talked to Arnold a number of times over the last couple of years," said city manager David Hales.
"We're concerned over a couple of issues. He needs to have a business license, like any other business in the city.
"And we would like him to make a couple of physical changes at the site to reduce the traffic hazard," Hales said.
"There's been one accident at that corner already, and we've had a number of near-misses that have generated complaints from the people involved," Hales said.
Centerville Police Chief Jim Oswald said he has asked Bangerter to move his stand back from the road and post entrance and exit signs to help control traffic flow.
"I took him a license application last year and talked to him a number of times," said Hales. "This year I offered to help him personally with the licensing procedure and to walk him through the site plan review process with the planning commission."
"We've had complaints from people about both the safety issue and the business not being licensed. If the city doesn't enforce its code and there's an accident, we're concerned about the liability, both to Arnold and to the city," said Hales.
"Completely false," Bangerter said of the charge that his stand creates a traffic hazard. He said the problem is drivers not paying attention to traffic, including cars in front of them.
As for moving his stand back from the road, Bangerter said he would lose the shade provided by a row of trees.
"This has been a family operation for 100 years. I started working here, for my dad, when I was seven years old. And now the city wants to shut me down," said Bangerter, pulling out a certified letter from the city dated Aug. 18. It orders him to get a business license.
"Bountiful begged me to come over there, but I don't own any land there. As of Saturday night, I'm closing up the operation for good. It's a shame it has to come to that after 100 years," Bangerter said.