Lake Hallie might considers solicitation permit ordinance

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VILLAGE OF LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Concern over parking lot sales could bring a solicitation ordinance to a local community for the first time.

In just two days, police in Lake Hallie took several calls from people concerned about book and magazine sales in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but from another company. That concern has the village president considering a new rule for these kinds of sales.

Midwest Circulation LLC is not accredited by Better Business Bureau. It even received an "F" rating from the BBB. Now that they've sold to people in Lake Hallie, its Village Board President thinks it might be time for a new rule for some salespeople there.

“I think we need to develop an ordinance where the people would have to come in and get a permit and they would be subject to a short background check that would insure that their solicitation is valid business and they're not going to fraudulently obtain money from our residence,” said Village of Lake Hallie Board President John Neihart.

Neihart says when the village formed about 10 years ago, an ordinance like this may have been overlooked.

“Some places don't like having an ordinance and those types of regulations just to let free enterprise take its course,” explained Neihart.

“I'm a very trusting soul and when he (salesman) mentioned troops I took an interest in it, I should have been more cautious,” said Susan Lostetter.

Lostetter says she paid $20 in the Wal-Mart parking lot for a magazine subscription from Midwest Circulation LLC.
She says she was told it would go directly to our troops and underprivileged children.

“I didn't even get a receipt, I think that's probably what alerted me that something wasn't right here,” explained Lostetter.

Lostetter says they would only take cash or check and had no business cards or company contact information.

“Hopefully there would be some regulation to it, and give law enforcement an ordinance so they can affect an investigation perhaps, write a citation or make an arrest; stop it, if that's what's going on,” added Neihart.

“We all in this life together and we all need to have some type of protection that way,” said Lostetter.

Lake Hallie's Police Chief says the soliciting permit ordinance would be in the best interests of the village. He plans to bring up the issue next week.

Police Chief Cal Smokowicz also reminds people that buying something on the street or in a parking lot can be high-risk. When we called Midwest Circulation LLC Friday and told them who we were, they declined comment and hung up.

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