Albertville approves food truck ordinance

by Samara Postuma

Contributing Writer

 

The Albertville City Council unanimously approved putting an ordinance in place to allow food trucks in the Albertville community.

At the previous meeting, city planner Al Brixius explained that the city has received many requests for mobile food trucks to sell food within the city limits. Currently there are no regulations that specifically apply to food trucks in the city ordinance.

Brixius did bring the issue and idea up to the Planning Commission, which voted 3 to 1 in favor of putting an ordinance in place. Support was based on increased dining opportunities, and the vote against the ordinance had concerns about the impact the food trucks would have to current dining establishments.

At its previous meeting, the council discussed its concerns. John Vetsch had suggested some charitable events such as Albertville Friendly City Days and the Albertville Farmers Market be exempt. Larry Sorensen had asked about fees, to which city clerk Kim Olson explained would be nominal and similar to the transient and peddler so that the licensing process would be simple for staff.

The definition of food truck would not cover or include ice cream trucks and several of the proposed requirements for the food trucks. Some of those would include: proof of licensure by the Minnesota Health Department and they must operate in the commercial, industrial and public district, hours of operation would be restricted from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., and applicants would be required to operate at least 200 feet away from an existing food establishment. At staff’s recommendation, ice cream trucks would be exempt from the ordinance as they sell pre-packaged goods.

Brixius told the council at the previous meeting that he would redraft the ordinance with the changes suggested and present them at this meeting, due to a meeting he had in Delano. Bob Kirmis from Northwest Associated Consultants attended the meeting in his place.

The council unanimously voted and approved the new ordinance.

In other action, the council

LOOKED at its liability with the fire department’s pension accounts, and according to Tina Lannes, city finance director, if every firefighter retired now the liability would be $620,000, which is adequately covered in the pension account.

DISCUSSED the possible ice time price increase that the St. Michael-Albertville Hockey board is currently discussing. The increase would be between $5-10 difference per hour rented.

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