Tri-City Ledger -

By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Mobile food trucks in Century?

First workshop scheduled will address legal, health, property issues, economic impact

 

February 7, 2019



Discussion about the possibility of having mobile food trucks come to Century in the future resulted in the scheduling of a workshop to the discuss details, laws and regulations will be on Monday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Century Town Hall.

Council members listened as Town Planner Debbie Nickles presented possible economic opportunities and other benefits.

“When Odom's Bar wanted to install permanent food truck so they could cook steaks and stuff, that issue is not addressed in the Land Development Code (LDC),” said Century Town Planner Debbie Nickles. “And they are such a popular thing, a great way to expand business. And since we had them at Fourth of July at Anthony Pleasant Park, I thought maybe we need to address the issue in LDC. Milton, Pensacola all address mobile food concessions, they have big events all the time, I though maybe we need to do the same thing.”

Nickles said the vendors have to purchase business license and have to get a permit when they come into town. She said that a permanent food truck has its own water and sewer hookups, which the town provides for a fee.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the town,” said Nickles. “But we do have to have some control.

Following discussion and questions council members had, some items the workshop will include are: how much of a fee is required; permitting based on frequency of participation; where the trucks will be located in the town and any insurance necessary on that property; water, sewer and electrical hookups, if needed to be provided; the involvement of the state health department; how to amend the land development code to allow them to come; and other details that will effect the town's ability to host mobile food trucks.

Councilman Ben Boutwell said in his experience, mobile food trucks brought their own water source and gas tanks to cook, as well as generators for electricity. He said the vendors have to go through the state health department and pass health inspections and be inspected.

The suggestion was made that the trucks could be permanent, come on a regular basis or come for a certain event or festival, and that in all cases, the town would stand to benefit.

When the discussion of fees, permits, licensing and other possible requirements came up, Councilman Luis Gomez, who hosts a yearly event in Century, reminded the council that simplifying the process would cost less and encourage vendors to come to Century.

“Vendors will be discouraged from coming if you make a whole bunch of red tape,” said Councilman Luis Gomez. “If they have to come down here, get license, permit, pay a fee, there will be nobody at these events. If you're talking about putting some permanent vendors, thats automatic, they go by city rules, the new permits, licenses and all of that because it is actually like a restaurant. Having a festival would allow the vendors to be a part of that and avoid all the red tape.”

Nickles said she had done some research and come up with information about how other communities treat permanent and mobile concession food trucks so the town can determine how to make provisions so the service could be available in the town in the future.

“This is not something that has to be done overnight,” said Nickles. “This will be part of your land development code, so there will be an ordinance. We want to encourage them to come.”

Nickles said there may need to be more than one workshop, but the first will get a dialogue going.

The public is invited to the workshop at 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 18 at Century Town Hall.

 
 

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