SPRINGVILLE—Food truck vendors who live in the village voiced concerns over the proposed code changes at the Sept. 10 Board of Trustees meeting.
As it was recommended by the planning board, food trucks would need to be parked at least 200 feet from an establishment that serves food or drink, more than 100 feet from an intersection and pay a $50 a day fee to operate in the village.
“We pay $150 a year now. A $50 a day would hurt business,” Jake Cranston said.
Cranston owns Jake and the Fatman BBQ, and lives within the village. Though he utilizes his food truck mostly for catering and events, he’d like to sell from the truck more often. The per day fee, Cranston said, could be restrictive.
“I understand if [the fee] goes up,” he said. “I think $50 a day would be tough on small businesses.”
He pointed to other municipalities, and the fees they implement. Buffalo has an $800 annual fee, Amherst a $400 a year and East Aurora a $50. Cranston said Buffalo offers a much larger customer base.
“Based off what I see, I don’t disagree with anything else,” Cranston said. “I’d just ask that you reconsider the fee.”
Mayor William Krebs said it’s unusual the planning board would set a fee and the village board would reconsider the fee. He added the village is behind in adding codes regarding food trucks, and the planning board studied other municipalities’ codes to formulate the recommendations.
Robyn Tyler, a veteran who is planning to open a food truck, asked if the village honors the peddlers license for people who served. Under New York law, veterans can be licensed without paying the fee. They would not be exempt from the other regulations outlined in the code. Village Administrator Liz Melock said she believed the village honors the exemption, but would double check.
Tyler also raised concerns about the restrictions on the distance a truck can park from an eating establishment. Once she opens her truck – Moocheesy, which will serve gourmet hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches – she hopes to be able to serve lunch to residents.
“Two hundred feet from a brick and mortar … we’re a small village, that really limits us,” Tyler said. “I ask that you consider reducing that.”
According to Code Enforcement Mike Kaleta, with a radial distance of 200 feet from a brick and mortar, combined with the 100 feet from an intersection, there would be few spots for a food truck to set up on Main Street between North Buffalo and Franklin streets.
“I don’t want to compete or take business away … I’m just trying to make a living,” Tyler said.
Trustee Alan Chamberlain agreed, saying the 200 feet seemed restrictive, and would only allow about three spots for food trucks on Main Street in the village center.
Dylan Wheeler, who owns Dilly Dallies Spices and Sauces, said being late to the food truck party might be a blessing for the village. The recommendations, he said, seemed too restrictive and the village should look at what works and doesn’t work for other municipalities.
“The impression we’re giving is that we don’t want food trucks here,” Wheeler said.
“We want to address something new, we don’t want to prohibit it,” Krebs said. “We’re here to listen to [residents]. We do not have to adopt the law today … we can send it back for revision.”
The board agreed to revisit some of the restrictions; the board did not approve the new code. The revisions are expected to reduce the 200 feet from a brick and mortar to 100 feet, change the restrictions to 40 feet from an intersection and reduce the fee to $150 annually. Adding public parking lots as an accepted food truck location was also discussed.
The Village Board of Trustees will next meet Monday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Building, 65 Franklin St.