Mobile food vendor ordinance heads to Council in January

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Aldermen are expected to vote on the first of three readings of a mobile food vendor ordinance during the first City Council cycle in January that includes a fee structure and requirements for getting a license.

The City Council heard a presentation this week that showed a $55 annual license that requires proof of $1 million in insurance coverage, a valid health permit issued by the Scott County Health Department and a successful fire inspection. Food truck operators would also have to have a $550 annual permit to operate in the public way.

Food trucks that operate on private property with the property owner’s permission must have the operating license but don’t require the public space permit. The property owner must register as a mobile vending site as a safety requirement.

The public space permit allows vendors to serve in specific zones, like those utilized in September during a pilot program, and have been identified as Bechtel Park and the riverfront parking lot east of Dillon Fountain.

Businesses that want a mobile food vendor in front of their property in the public right of way can apply for a special use permit that goes to City Council for approval. The special use permit allows the property owner to have any vendor with the $550 annual public space permit at that location.

The ordinance rolls the current pushcart ordinance into it with the same fees for those vendors.

A city ordinance requires three readings for final approval, so the final vote would be at the Feb. 8 City Council meeting.