by Dennis Dalman
Should mobile-food vendors be licensed to operate in Sartell?
That’s the question being pondered by Anita Rasmussen, the city’s director of planning and community development. The issue will likely come up for city-council consideration this spring.
Rasmussen said the definition of mobile-food vehicle vendors are those that are self-contained trucks or trailers used to serve food within a parking lot, on private property or possibly in some parks. An example, Rasmussen noted, would be a vendor selling tacos from a vehicle that were prepared by the vendor inside that vehicle.
The city’s vending ordinance does allow currently for food vehicles such as the Schwann food-products trucks and a neighborhood ice-cream vending vehicle. However, those vending vehicles are different because they sell foods that have been pre-packaged, not made within the vehicles.
Rasmussen said she has heard concerns from some people that mobile-food vehicle vendors would be competing with the typical “brick-and-mortar” food establishments currently in the city that pay city taxes.
Rasmussen is seeking more input from people on that concern and others, such as:
Is changing the city ordinance to accommodate such food-vending vehicles a good idea or not?
Should the city allow it because it would provide convenient fast food to employees who may not have a long lunch break?
Are there any other concerns for or against changing the ordinance?
Anyone with comments should email them to Rasmussen at firstname.lastname@example.org.