The Albertville City Council will be asked Monday night to lower fees for mobile food units (MFUs) operating within the city limits, clearing the way for more so-called “food trucks” to use the area’s parking lots this summer.
The council will be asked to re-structure an existing fee that charges food vendors anywhere from $80 to more than $225 for a season of sales within the city. The current system charges a flat fee of $50, but charges $1 for each day of operation thereafter. It’s incorporated in with the same fees for solicitors, peddlers and other transient merchants.
The new, MFU-based fee would charge a flat rate of just $75. The rate will also pertain to food carts and ice cream trucks.
City staff, led by City Administrator Adam Nafstad, recommends to the council the change due to increased demand for a food truck presence at places like Friendly City Days (which would require additional permits and costs through the Friendly City Days Committee) and the Albertville Premium Outlets.
“Our current ordinance didn’t provide specific standards to the regulation of food trucks,” Nafstad said.
The ordinance, as adopted, states the trucks can stay in place for up to 21 days annually, a parameter easily met by most mobile distributors, who usually pick one day per week. If the cart or truck is mobile, such as an ice cream truck, it’s a flat fee for the year.