Caseville business owners disagree over food trucks

The City of Cassville has been arguing about the use of food trucks for the past few weeks, as community members have spoken for and against the idea of ​​vendors entering the city.

This societal interest in food trucks came during the June 13 meeting, where several individuals came out for public comment speaking on City Code 856, found on street vendors and attorneys. The ordinance requires the express permission of the landlords and a permit obtained from the city or else offenders face a misdemeanor charge.

The decree also limits how long vendors can be set up. She is restricted to a five-day permit and can only obtain a total of two permits in any calendar year. The ordinance sets out what those looking to sell services and goods can do on private and public property. The current version of the decree was issued in April 2012.

Cinamon Marker, a Bay Port resident who owns the Farm 2 Table food truck with her husband Dou Marker, said during public comment that she feels the law is too restrictive.

“Many cities charge the seller a fee,” Marker said. “But when a privately owned business invites me into their property, and I have to get approval from the city and pay $500 to have them locked up for five days in a row, it’s a bit overkill because most of the cities I sell charge only $25 a day.”

David Bock, who owns Wooded Island Sports Grille and is a Chamber of Commerce board member, said he doesn’t want any more food trucks. He said during a public comment that he spent $100,000 on his kitchen and paid a lot of taxes.

It is also opposed by Rob Bellsworth, who owns Key North Surf Shop.

“I will not have any food trucks on my property,” Bellsworth said during a public comment at the June 13 meeting. “Frankenmuth will show you the door if you want to sell from a trailer.”

Lauren Formicola, who owns Thumb Brewery, said she used to bring food trucks onto her property weekly, but had to stop when she was asked to follow the ordinance.

“We were bringing in different types of food to add some cultural diversity and things the city doesn’t have,” Formicola said. “We ended up canceling nine dates, which resulted in a loss of revenue for the restaurant, our servers, the live music we were going to get, and the food trucks we were going to bring in.”

Formicola wants to see a change to the ordinance because she believes it will boost traffic in the city.

“I did the research,” Formicola said. “Increased foot traffic in the city will attract more people to other businesses. I am working on a new ordinance to present to (City) Council for consideration, similar to the ones in Bay City or Jackson.”

The city’s organizing committee met to discuss the sale law, but recommended that no changes be made at this time. However, I asked city clerk Jamie Lerman to reach out to the Chamber of Commerce for ideas for a potential “food truck” day.

“It’s a good idea,” said Steve Lowers, president of the Cassville Chamber of Commerce. “It’s something we haven’t had a chance to discuss. I’d like to put it on the schedule, but we’re a few weeks away from the Cheeseburger (festival) and all I can think of is that.”

Loars said he likes the idea, but the timing could mean pushing it into next season, when there isn’t much room for it to fit in.

“It’ll probably be in September for the Pumpkin Festival, but it might have to be next year,” Loars said.

Currently, there are no further plans to amend the decree. The cheeseburger will be in Cassville from August 12 through August 21 this year.

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