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Minnesota city considers loosening food truck regulations

February 11, 2018

WINONA, Minn. (AP) — Leaders of a southeast Minnesota city are considering easing local laws on food trucks.

The Winona City Council is considering changes that would allow food trucks to operate in more places and expand their hours, the Winona Daily News reported.

Demand should dictate where vendors can go and what hours they’d be open, said Council Member Michelle Alexander. She said she’d like to see all of downtown opened up to vendors.

“I think (the) more options people have downtown, the better,” Alexander said.

Food trucks are currently allowed at Lake Park, at some city events, on private property and in a portion of downtown.

The City Council is also considering removing a requirement that operators must also have a brick and mortar kitchen in the community. The ordinance was first created to keep existing restaurants from being at a competitive disadvantage.

Leaders are looking to make the laws less restrictive, said Steve Sarvi, city manager.

“We’re just hearing from people that there’s not enough options,” Sarvi said.

Other proposals include allowing food trucks to operate closer to existing non-mobile restaurants if restaurant management approve, as well as creating a separate license agreement for vendors at larger events. An annual license currently costs $200, while a temporary, week-long license is $50.

A final amended ordinance will come before the City Council for approval at a later date.

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Information from: Winona Daily News, http://www.winonadailynews.com

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