Elwood council working on food truck ordinance

Feb. 6—ELWOOD — The Elwood city council has formed a committee to develop guidelines for the operation of food trucks in the community.

Last month the Elwood city council approved an ordinance that changed the permit fee from $100 annually to $10 and limited the operation on private property to 48 hours.

Mayor Todd Jones vetoed the ordinance. The city council Monday didn't vote to override the veto.

The council named a committee to work with local restaurants on a new ordinance to be considered at the March meeting.

Council members Danielle Dunnichay-Noone, Sam Tyner and David Abernathy were named to the committee.

"I support mobile food vendors," Jones said. "I would encourage the council to establish guidelines to operate in Elwood."

Jones proposed an annual permit of $120.

Food truck vendors are required to have a permit from the Madison County Health Department at a cost of $140. Those permits expire each year on Dec. 31.

Jones said the food trucks are hurting local businesses and their employees.

"There will be more food trucks," he said, "They hurt local businesses."

Jones said he received a telephone call about the possible sale of property on a main street in Elwood for the creation of a food truck park.

Attorney Jeff Graham said the property would have to be rezoned and require a special use from the Elwood Plan Commission.

Kyle Noone said food trucks bring diversity to the city, but there is not a level playing field for the restaurants that are paying property taxes and employees.

"Food trucks are not good for local business," Pat Rick with the Tin Plate restaurant, said. "There are strict standards that we have to adhere to."

Tom Doan, owner of the SR28 restaurant, said owners work to serve the community.

"Every business pulls people to Elwood," he said.

Jones said it doesn't make sense to allow food trucks to operate in the central business district.

"We want to attract more food and retail establishments to the central business district," he said.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.