Food truck regulations up for Sycamore City Council vote Monday

January 7, 2019

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore City Council will vote Monday on whether to adopt a new city code regarding food trucks.

The proposed Chapter 3-24, “Mobile Food Vendors,” includes spelled-out safety standards for fixed-point mobile food vendors and trucks that are parked for special events, such as a wedding or block party.

City Manager Brian Gregory said the ordinance will outline which districts fixed vendors will be able to operate in and provide added clarity on mandatory health, sanitation, fire and life safety requirements.

“The focus is to ensure that there is a fairness amongst businesses, including brick-and-mortar,” Gregory said.

The current ordinance reads that food trucks only are allowed in central and highway business districts, except the downtown area. According to city code, mobile vendors are not allowed during the Sycamore farmers market at Elm and Somonauk streets, for example, but they are allowed on a special event permit basis for the event.

Gregory said the new chapter would better address those potential discrepancies.

The city’s current peddler’s license costs $50 a year, plus $25 to $29 for a background check, and those prices would remain the same for special use permits. The proposed fee for fixed-point vendors would be $50 a month or $250 a year, plus the cost of a background check, according to Monday’s agenda.

The new ordinance chapter would require food trucks to meet public safety standards including health, sanitation, fire and life safety requirements that are similar to regulations brick-and-mortar restaurants must adhere to.

Food trucks currently must meet DeKalb County Health Department food safety standards for such units.

“By and large, the concept is the same,” Gregory said.

Mobile food vendors also will be required to keep gas or fuels separate from the cooking and service area, and must install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

During Monday’s meeting, the City Council also will look at two resolutions related to the city’s final phase of its wastewater treatment plant project, which originally was estimated to cost $25.3 million. A bid of $19.9 million from Canton-based Leander Inc. for the tankage and installing piping – along with another bid of $1.7 million for sequencing batch reactor equipment – also will be considered.

With the city’s current rate structure, Gregory said, adjustments were made in previous years to ensure that the city had the necessary resources to make the improvements.

“So there’s no planned increase in the sewer rate,” Gregory said.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.

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