During Tuesday’s work session the Kodiak City Council looked at a resolution designed to encourage food truck operators to apply for permits to conduct
business at the Spit.
The purpose of the resolution is to clarify authority and promote the issuance of permits for food trucks at the Spit for Crab Festival and other similar events. The goal would be to issue permits to food trucks for a set length of time.
“One way to think about the resolution is as an invitation for applications for this type of permit that we all have in mind,” Deputy City Manager Josie Bahnke said during the meeting. “Right now, since passing the Food Truck Ordinance, we have had nobody apply.”
It is generally unlawful to conduct business on city property except as authorized by the city manager, upon application.
The draft resolution allows the manager to issue a permit for the temporary parking of a suitable vehicle on public property for the purpose of selling or dispensing goods or services in conjunction with the Crab Festival or other similarly designated community events.
Vending from food trucks and similar service has been a successful and appreciated feature of Crab Fest for many years, but the city has never received an application for a summer-season food truck event even if summer food truck vending on the Spit following Crab Fest would benefit the community, according to the drafted resolution.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for some of our nonprofits in town to actually put a food trailer or food truck out there and raise money for their different activities...,” council member Richard Walker said during the meeting. “I’m for it and just tweak it a little bit to see if we can make it work for everybody.”
The ordinance would prioritize permitting nonprofit organizations or associations performing community service activities, such as the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, to oversee food trucks to vend at the Spit.
The current cost for getting a permit is $500 for over a year. The permit lasts for the remainder of the current year plus one additional year. The City Council is also looking at lowering this cost and creating a short-term fee, which hasn’t been built in yet.
“How much demand is there really? It’s a great idea if we want this to be a thing,” council member John Whiddon said. “But maybe there’s some incentives we could get to have people either move or to create a new business… . Is there something more the city can do to create more economic incentive to start a business or move a business?”
City Manager Mike Tvenge was in favor of the resolution but would like to see a few changes before it passes.
“Although they’re mobile, they don’t really drive around,” Tvenge said during the meeting. “So, parking them on the street like the original ordinance was problematic for the vendors.”
The council made no decisions during the work session.
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