Tonawanda News

August 17, 2013

Food truck talks set

By Jessica Bagley jessica.bagley@tonawanda-news.com
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The City of Tonawanda Common Council will again consider a resolution regulating food trucks at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday.

The resolution, available online, designates a $400 annual registration fee, but the proposal doesn’t specify how far food trucks would have to keep away from brick and mortar restaurants. Talks surrounding both requirements will likely continue at the work session Tuesday before being finalized for a vote. 

The publishing of Tuesday’s meeting agenda comes after a series of talks on a food truck resolution over the past month. The matter was initially brought up after restaurants on Niagara Street complained of food trucks operating near their businesses, and the council’s early talks centered on a resolution that would keep the mobile vendors away from the most populated areas of the city.

The original proposed ordinance, set forth a month ago, would have made it illegal for food trucks to operate within a 1,000-foot radius of any brick and mortar restaurant. The measure also specified an application fee of $1,000, and a $500 annual renewal fee. 

At the council’s last meeting, officials said they had agreed to lessen both the radius requirement and fees, but there was no confirmed consensus and a specific measure was not on the table. 

Attorney Mitchell Stenger, who is representing local food trucks, attended the last meeting to advocate for a less restrictive measure. He said he hoped the council would pass an ordinance not any more limiting than Amherst’s current law — which designates a 100-foot radius requirement, a $400 initial application fee and a $200 fee for renewing the permit.

Stenger also proposed passing an ordinance for the rest of the warm-weather season that could serve as a trial run. Then, the council could re-evaluate the measure before next summer, he said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley