By Dan Domsic
After nearly two months in front of the council, an ordinance that will govern the operation of food trucks in the Town of Fishers was approved.
Under the ordinance, mobile concessions looking to park and dish out food at the Fishers’ Concert Series, Fishers Movies in the Park or in Fishers parks will have to file a memorandum of understanding with the town.
Outside of those specific events and locations, mobile concession vendors can buy a $200 permit to operate within the town’s boundaries through Dec. 31.
The vote for the ordinance was 5-2, with councilors Scott Faultless and Michael Colby voting no.
The ordinance first went before the council on Jan. 22, and since then a large group of citizens, some for and some against food trucks, has spoken to the council; a second draft of the ordinance has been presented; there has been much arguing between the councilors, especially Faultless and Pete Peterson; and the entire issue has been tabled and un-tabled.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We are not amending the U.S. Constitution,” Peterson said at the March 18 council meeting. “If we have a problem with food trucks as they continue to go forward in a free enterprise system, by-golly we’ll go and change it.”
Faultless said the original ordinance wasn’t supported by the Fishers Chamber of Commerce, which supports free enterprise, but was for one that Councilor Stuart Easley put forward through an amendment.
Easley outlined the possibility of using existing temporary-use permits with food trucks earlier in the meeting.
Town Manager Scott Fadness said that type of permit would need work in terms of practicality.
He said modified temporary use permits and the ordinance approved was not a perfect solution for the situation.
Easley offered an amendment to the ordinance that would have omitted the ordinance’s language pertaining to mobile concessions outside of parks. That amendment did not pass.
Ultimately, the original text of the ordinance was approved with an amendment that gives the town manager the ability to have appropriate departments administer permits outside of the realm of Parks and Recreation.