May 17–Perrysburg City Council sent its first set of food truck regulations back to its finance committee, after several unintended consequences were brought up Tuesday.
“I think there’s a lot of questions we have to answer yet,” Councilman Nelson Evans said.
The ordinance would require food trucks to register with the city, with a yearly cost of $250.
“$250 is outrageous,” Toledo Food Truck Association President Phil Barone said. “I know these guys, and nobody is going to the bank with a smile on their face every day.”
The ordinance would have applied to any mobile food vendor in the city, including trucks parked on private property. It also would have forced food vendors coming to downtown for special events like Harrison Rally Days or Rock the Docks to register, which finance committee chairman Jim Matuszak said he’d like to avoid.
“We’re not trying to scare them away,” he said.
He intends to reduce the registration rate for Perrysburg restaurants that have both a brick-and-mortar restaurant and a food truck to $100.
The registration would confirm every truck has paid its taxes and has been inspected by the Perrysburg Fire Department and the Wood County Health Department. It also requires each truck to carry $1 million in general liability coverage, all of which Mr. Barone requires for his trucks to be in the association.
The city of Toledo has similar licensing rules, with a $50 annual fee. Maumee, where food trucks now are attached to its weekly summer farmers market, does not have any kind of registration system.
The ordinance also carries a $100 penalty for food trucks that do not comply with the law, and a ban on operating in the city after two violations.
The food trucks were at the downtown Perrysburg farmers market for the first time last Thursday. Several regular vendors said there were more people at the event than is typical for the first market of the year, and liked the trucks being there.
Patrick Lahey, the owner of Stella’s in Perrysburg, said business was good last Thursday, even with 10 food trucks parked down the street. He is not sure how they will affect his business going forward.
“Downtown restaurants are here all year,” he said, expressing concern that the trucks come in only during the busier summer months.
Councilman Becky Williams said she had some safety concerns because the trucks made it hard for people walking across Louisiana Avenue outside of crosswalks to see traffic.
The topic also could come up at the next safety committee meeting, Mr. Evans said, which is at 6 p.m. Monday, immediately after the finance committee meeting at 5 p.m.
Contact Zack Lemon at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6282, or on Twitter @zack_lemon.
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