New Milford Food truck ordinance expected to be decided Monday
NEW MILFORD — After weeks of discussion, the fate of food trucks is expected to be decided on Monday, giving business owners who look to partner with them a chance to capture some of the summer crowd.
Under the proposal, a food truck could partner with a business to locate in town on a more regular basis. Currently a food truck cannot set up on private property but is allowed on municipal property if approved by the Mayor’s Office.
Housatonic River Brewery has been working on getting food trucks on their property for months to meet customer expectations and teamed up with town officials to craft the ordinance. It was then expanded to include businesses in general because other owners might want to offer food options to their customers, such as antique stores.
The public hearing is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at Town Hall with the regular town council meeting starting at 7 p.m.
This will be the third time the proposal has come before Town Council and the second public hearing. At the last meeting, council members tightened the proposal by requiring more approvals and adding a fee structure of $80 for five days to set up and $160 for a month.
“The fees will be discussed and can be changed by the Town Council,” Economic Development Director Karen Pollard said this week.
The Health Department would still collect an Itinerant Vendor Annual License of $125 or a temporary license for $50, which is good for 14 days. These licenses include one inspection. Re-inspections cost $100 each, she said.
Food trucks need to be approved by the health department to operate in New Milford in general, while the actual location needs to be approved by the mayor’s office and police chief to ensure its a safe location and not blocking sight lines.
Host businesses can’t have kitchens of their own and the setup spot can’t be within 250 feet of a brick and mortar restaurant. Only two food trucks can be at a host site at one time.
Other communities have created ordinances to allow food trucks at breweries, including Ridgefield, but Pollard said she didn’t find other communities that require a host business how New Milford proposes. She said its difficult to compare the different food truck fees between towns because communities charge based on their specific ordinances.