GALLIPOLIS — During the Gallipolis City Commission’s meeting on Tuesday evening, commissioners and business owners discussed the recently proposed topic of food trucks in the city.
Scott Foote, owner of Zack and Scotty’s, appeared at the city’s meeting to express his thoughts about the recently proposed ordinance that would set rules for food trucks in the city. Foote was present with other restaurant owners in the city.
As previously reported by the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, in a meeting in February, City Manager Ted Lozier spoke to commissioners about new mobile food vendor rules for the city. Lozier said the goal of the new rules is to make it less “burdensome” for vendors but also create a balance with the brick and mortar businesses and income to the city.
In his proposal, Lozier said a food truck could pay an annual fee of $795 and follow location and hour criteria. Another option would be to pay $75 to operate for three consecutive days per a month. Days longer than that would be an extra $10 per day. Utilities would cost the vendor an additional $25 per day. Food trucks would be able to park on the 300-block of First Avenue and face the river. The hours of operation would be 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
For special events, the event host pays the city $700. Each mobile food vendor would have to also pay $25 per day. Lozier said the event host could handle who pays the cost to the city.
Commissioners discussed the ideas but no decisions were made.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Foote said by allowing food trucks to come into the city, the city government would be hurting brick and mortar restaurants. Foote also said he did not agree this was a way to bring money and people into the city because the food trucks are not from the area, meaning they would be leaving and taking their tax money elsewhere.
Foote said he wanted the commission to explain the reason for bringing in mobile food vendors into the city.
Gene Greene, who formerly worked as city manager and is currently a county commissioner, spoke about the issue on a personal level, saying that many restaurants are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and food trucks would be adding to that.
Commissioner Cody Caldwell said he did not think food trucks came into the city often enough to negatively impact restaurants. Caldwell also mentioned the proposal addresses the issue of food trucks in front of buildings and will not allow that.
Commissioner Tony Gallagher said he spoke with restaurant owners and managers and most of them were against having mobile food vendors in the city. Gallagher said the ordinance for food trucks is supposed to have a cost higher than the proposal.
Commissioner Beau Sang said he agrees the proposed $75 per day cost to food trucks is low. Sang said he wants to protect brick and mortar businesses and find a “balance” to have both.
Foote said he has ideas to promote the city that does not hurt current businesses.
Lozier said there was a suggestion to have a type of “round table” to discuss the issue and solutions.
No decisions were made during this week’s meeting about the proposal.
All city commissioners, including Cody Caldwell, Tony Gallagher, Mike Fulks, Mike Brown and Beau Sang, were present at the meeting.
More on the Gallipolis City Commission meeting will appear in upcoming editions of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.