KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Watertown Discusses Panhandling License



Bookmark and Share

An ordinance in Sioux Falls banning panhandling has been in effect for a few weeks. And now other cities in South Dakota are trying to do something similar. KDLT was in Watertown Tuesday to learn more about how the city council, police department and residents are working together to stop beggars.

Monday the Watertown City Council passed an ordinance limiting panhandlers to be 20 feet from a door or ATM.  

The goal is to help businesses on the east side of Watertown that have dealt with panhandlers bothering customers.

But Watertown City Council members and business owners know this won’t solve the city’s panhandling problem, so they have another plan.
 
"What I'd like to see is that they have a license to be there,” said Lynn Ingles, the owner of Interstate 29 Shell.

Lynn Ingles is the owner of Interstate 29 Shell, and he said panhandlers have worn out their welcome.

Not only do they bother his customers while getting gas, they leave the areas in which they stand a mess.

“I've gone and picked up a half a dozen McDonald’s bags without a single thing taken out of it,” said Ingles.

Ingles said the new ordinance is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

“They just need to have a law with some teeth,” said Ingles.

City Council members and the Watertown Police Department agree.

So as of Tuesday, the city attorney was drafting a proposed licensing ordinance for panhandlers.  

“We would license the panhandlers, and they would come to the police station, assuming it passes. We would finger print, I.D., check for warrants,” said Michael Christians, from the Watertown City Council.

Watertown Police said it would be the same process peddlers go through.     

"Panhandlers would have to register. Probably would make contact with them, tell them about the ordinance, and tell them where the police department is and then they'd have to come down and go through the process,” said Lee McPeek, Assistant Police Chief Watertown Police Department.

And with a possible fee of $1,000 to obtain the license, council members hope it will make panhandlers not want to make a stop in Watertown.

So we asked James, a man from North Carolina, we found at the of I-29 and 212 what he will do if the ordinance is passed.

“If it comes down to it, and we can't panhandle or just fly a sign, I guess will find other pastures,” said James.

But he wants people to remember one thing, nuisance or not.

"I'm not stealing or hurting anybody. If people want to help me out, I am thankful for them,” said James.

Ingles and others have noticed panhandlers are circulating between towns. Apparently they go between Brookings, Watertown and Fargo. And to help them out Ingles said he has even offered them a job. But he says none of them have taken him up on his offer.

The draft of the panhandle license will be brought to the Watertown City Council December 3 for its first reading. Supporter hope to have it passed within the next couple of months.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

Lessons We Can Learn From Ferguson  story with video

The tension is still there, almost 24 hours after a St. Louis County grand jury decided ...

Gov. Daugaard Appoints New Supreme Court Justice

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has appointed a new justice to the state's ...

2 Men Charged With Trying To Support Islamic State

Two Minnesota men have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic ...

Great Bear Opens Early, Other Ski Areas Poised Too  Nov. 25

Missouri Governor: More National Guard In Ferguson  Nov. 25

SD Gov. Daugaard Names Interim Secretary Of Health  Nov. 25

Vandals Damage Holiday Display At Children's Park  Nov. 25

Budgeting Help Available In SD This Holiday Season  Nov. 25

2 Plead Guilty In Connection To Iowa House Fires  Nov. 25

Both Sides Want Judge To Rule On Gay Marriage  Nov. 25

Ferguson: Daylight Reveals Damage  story with video  Nov. 25

E-Pulltabs Finally Gaining Ground In Minnesota  Nov. 25

The Daily Scoop: 11-25-2014  story with video  Nov. 25

Winter Travel Safety Tips  story with video  Nov. 25

Wake Held For Girl Killed By Dogs On Reservation  Nov. 25

South Dakota Corn, Sunflower Harvests Wrapping Up  Nov. 25

Police: Sturgis Man Charged With Shooting Roommate  Nov. 25

2015 Mountain Lion Season Applications Available  Nov. 25

Kevin's Tech Check: Holiday TV Shopping  story with video  Nov. 25

No Injuries In Early Morning House Fire In SF  Nov. 25

KDLT News Archive
     

Names Released In Fatal Sisseton Shooting

Authorities have released the victims names in a fatal ...

SF Woman Helps Rescue Pine Ridge Dogs  story with video

Dozens of dogs from the Pine Ridge Indian ...

Update: Missing Toronto Teen Returns Home

The Brooking's County Sheriff's Office says a missing ...

Missing Redfield Teen Located  Nov. 24

Charity Dumping: When Trash Is Not Treasured  story with video  Nov. 24

Ferguson Braces For Decision  story with video  Nov. 24

How Police Officers Recognize Firearms  story with video  Nov. 24

Hagel Resigning As Defense Secretary  Nov. 24

KDLT News Archive
     

Balanced attack leads SDSU past Sam Houston  story with video

BROOKINGS, S. D. —The South Dakota State University ...

Allen leads Dakota State over Cougars at USF  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. – Dakota State (S. D. ) trailed as ...

Chadron State men no match for Jacks at Frost

All 14 Jackrabbits in uniform played at least five minutes and ...

USD Rolls to Big Win over UC-Irvine  Nov. 24

Vikes, Jansen win big over Wildcats  story with video  Nov. 24

Spencer leads Wayne past Augustana  story with video  Nov. 24

Grantham helped Chargers finish with state title  story with video  Nov. 24

Sumner likes how Jacks are playing heading to Montana State  story with video  Nov. 24

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top