Sidney Council discusses food truck regulations

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Regulations to operate a food truck in the city of Sidney were discussed during Sidney City Council’s Monday evening meeting.

Public Works Director Jon Crusey led the discussion and sought direction from City Council on the topic.

“As food trucks continue to gain in popularity, they occasionally pop up in residential neighborhoods and can be found in parking lots of commercial establishments along major roadways. The city currently does not have any regulations establishing standards for the operation of food trucks,” Crusey said before introducing city staff’s recommendations.

The following regulations were presented for council’s review and discussion:

• Establish an application process to register a food truck that requires:

— Health department license;

— Sale use tax license;

— General liability insurance;

— Sidney Fire Department inspection;

— One-time annual fee of $100.

• The licensing period would be from March 1 to the last day of February the following year.

• Permit food trucks in any zoning district that permits the trucks as an accessory use or if a special event permit has been authorized.

• Require food trucks to:

— Be at least 50 feet from a residential zoning district;

— Not obstruct access to or visibility of public streets, sidewalks, or alleys;

— Not operate before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or conduct business for more than 60 days total in a calendar year;

— Not sell alcoholic beverages;

— Not have amplified sound/music.

• Exempt:

— Ice cream trucks;

— Non-incorporated children’s stands, such as lemonade stands;

— Mobile food vehicles on private property where sales are limited to employees.

• Establish a process for the suspension or revocation of food truck registration for violation of city’s food truck regulations.

• Exclude the Shelby County Fair.

During a brief discussion, Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan expressed concern with the fee structure regarding the $100 fee and limited number of days a food truck would be in town or is allowed to operate in town. Some other members agreed with her concern. Crusey said although they would not want a food truck to set up in one spot 365 days a year, the limit of 60 days a truck could operate can be changed based on what council sees fit.

At the end of the discussion, Crusey was directed to follow up with Sidney Alive about food truck fees for trucks participating in The Great Sidney Farmer’s Market or other events the organization has downtown. He was also asked to reconsider the fee if a truck was only planning to be in town for one or two days.

The item will return on Aug. 8 at City Council’s next regular meeting for further discussion.

At the end of the meeting during council member comments, Milligan shared a resident’s concern about semi-truck traffic on Port Jefferson Road coming from state Route 47. The citizen wanted to know what City Council is going to do about it. Milligan also questioned the weight limit for vehicles traveling on that road, for fear of damage to the city’s newly paved roads. Police Chief Will Balling said an officer sat at this person’s driveway who reported this issue in the past and the officer did not observe enough traffic to dedicate an officer at that location on a regular basis. Trucks are allowed on that road if they are making local deliveries, he said.

Crusey said last fall the city put a truck counter between Wells and Russell Road on Port Jefferson Road. It counted about 40 trucks during a 24 hour period. He said they could put another truck counter there to see if the number had increased.

Milligan also reported hearing issues with cellphone service in Tawawa Park. She asked if 911 was called, would that call go through. Some places in the park, service is weak, Mayor Mike Barhorst said he learned. AIt was further noted during the discussion a cellphone tower must be able to be reached, regardless of phone provider, in order for a call to connect to 911.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer 937-538-4823.