Carbondale OK's food trucks on designated public property

Carbondale OK's food trucks on designated public property
Published: Feb. 25, 2016 at 5:00 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2016 at 6:02 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Food trucks can now set up at several public hot spots in the city of Carbondale, Illinois.

The Carbondale City Council voted on Tuesday to allow city-issued food truck licenses. Mobile food vendors will now be allowed to set up on public property near the Historic Town Square, Lenus Turley Park, Attucks Park and the Superblock.

A similar ordinance was proposed in 2013, but did not have enough council support to pass, according to Interim City Manager Gary Williams. He said the idea will help create an environment that is attractive to the college students it serves.

The food truck idea has been discussed by Carbondale's Downtown Advisory Committee. In January, we told you how the city approved serving alcohol at sidewalk cafes.

Despite passing of the ordinance, Tuesday's meeting brought up discussion and dissent among council members.

"I'd hate to cause one of our brick and mortar businesses to go out of business because of food trucks," councilman Lee Fronabarger said.

Fronabarger said brick and mortar businesses invest in the community through property tax, hiring college students, and contributing to local charities. He said food truck owners are less likely to do so.

"I don't think it's our business to protect business from competition," councilman Adam Loos said.

Carbondale Police Chief Jeff Grubbs said he is not an advocate of food trucks operating after 2 a.m. Grubbs cited an additional cost in overtime for police officers.

The ordinance passed without a limit to time of operation or a limit to the number of licenses that can be issued.

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