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Food Truck Parameters Discussed

The Public Safety Committee met on March 8th with members of City staff, including those representing the Police Department, Fire Department, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and administration for conversation on th etopic of Mobile Food Units, typically referred to as Food Trucks. Several topics were raised beginning with the current ordinance which does not allow such vendors on City property, except in the case of a special event such as Rivertown Days. Our review of the lengthy and complex meeting will be covered in a series of reports focusing on the issues at hand. At the outset, background checks were discussed, allowing that the City does not conduct general background checks for current residents and the recommendation was not to require a separate background check as a condition for a mobile food unit. A city license fee was discussed next. The current fee is $30 per day or a maximum of $225 per year per unit. That fee was supported to remain the same. City Staff will issue permits for locations deemed to be eligible. A significant amount of time was spent in determining where the mobile food units are allowed to operate. Listen next hour to hear what the committee decided.

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The March 8th meeting of the Public Safety Committee included Council members Braucks, Folch and Leifeld, City Staff and members of the Police, Fire, Public works and parks and Recreation Departments. A letter was mailed to downtown businesses, property owners and residents that outlined the policies that were to be considered. They were invited to attend the meeting. Eight downtown property owners attended the early morning meeting. The topic of discussion was Mobil Food Units, often known as food trucks. With the improvement of the riverfront and more events planned for the area around downtown, a clear plan is sought to be represented to those seeking permits and space to sell foods and beverages from mobile food units. The discussion spanned several key topics, more of which we’ll cover in our three part series. The issue of where the units can be located and how much space they can occupy brought questions and concerns from existing businesses that want assurance the temporary units do not adversely impact their permanent business.

The committee recommended that operation be allowed on 2nd Street East and also on Sibley Street from the Levee parking Lot south to East 3rd Street only with Council Approval as a designated special event. In the past, vendors have been placed in prominent locations for events such as the Downtown Business Association Cruise Ins which run every other Saturday evening from June 2nd until the end of August. Although the show officially runs from 5-9 pm, cars and vendors regularly stake out their parking places 2-3 hours in advance, preventing on street parking in front of downtown businesses on those Saturdays. Other events such as Rivertown Days and Holiday Hoopla also host mobile units during those events which can also involve the request for mobile unit placement. There was also discussion about whether units can be placed under the bridge. A review of the restrictions provided by the Department of Homeland secuity will allow them to be located under the bridge providing that the city be responsible for any and all security and safety obligations that might arrise without cost or expense to the state. More on this topic will be included in each newscast today. Our complete overview of the meeting can be found online at kdwa.com

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Permanent link to this article: http://kdwa.com/2018/03/food-truck-parameters-discussed/