Food truck ordinance moves forward

Food trucks may become a reality in the City of Progress as Enterprise City Councilmen review license information presented to them at the council work session July 6.

Three proposed ordinances governing food trucks were presented to the city council by the city’s Chief Revenue Officer Tracey Brown and Revenue Clerk Kim McKenzie.

The three proposals were developed after researching the ordinances of other municipalities, Brown said. They ranged from “most stringent” restrictions to “least stringent.” The most stringent requires a food truck to be located at least 300 feet from a brick and mortar restaurant and least stringent requires a food truck to be located at least 200 feet from a brick and mortar restaurant.

All three proposals mandate that food trucks are 10 feet from fire hydrants, sidewalks, utility boxes, handicap ramps and/or building entrances.

“The most important thing we are trying to do is maintain public safety,” Brown told the council.

Under the most stringent proposed ordinance, there is one food truck zone designated by the city and one location chosen by the vendor, subject to prior approval by the city.

Under the proposal with mid-range restrictions, the vendor may have two pre-approved chosen locations in addition to the one food truck zone designated by the city.

The proposal with the least restrictive parameters allows the vendor to have three pre-approved chosen locations in addition to the one food truck zone designated by the city.

The general procedures are pretty much the same for all three proposals, McKenzie said.

Brown said that the annual business license application fee for vendors is different from a separate permit fee she suggested. “The permit fee is a separate fee because it takes time for the department heads—like engineering and also for the (fire) chief—to go out and inspect those locations,” she explained. “So you have to understand, we have to cover the cost of giving services. You have to consider the maintenance of the vehicle, the salaries—which includes their whole entire salary package— and the time it takes to do that and also any type of office supplies. We have to try to recoup some of the money.”

“So we would be creating a permit fee which we don’t currently have?” asked Council President Turner Townsend.

“That is correct,” Brown replied. “We worked very closely with engineering and the fire chief to make sure we covered everyone’s concerns.”

Townsend asked the council to review the proposals and provide input. An ordinance is expected to be introduced at the first council meeting in August.

In other business Tullos said that an Enterprise City Council work session is set for Thursday, July 15, at 5 p.m. at the civic center on Highway 167. The purpose of the work session is to discuss fees, business licenses and permits assessed for city services, he said.

“Some of those fees haven’t been looked at in 30 years,” Tullos told the council. “In some cases the General Fund is being used to prop up other funds, such as the water and sewer. We’re consistently robbing the General Fund to put into our sewer fund because we don’t have the revenues there to maintain the sewer system properly.” The meeting is open to the public.

After the work session July 15, the next Enterprise City Council meeting is set for Tuesday, July 20, at Enterprise City Hall. A work session begins at 5 p.m. A voting meeting is at 6 p.m. Work sessions and voting meetings are open to the public.

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