Allow food trucks in Okotoks
Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 09:43 am
There won’t be street food for Okotoks residents in the near future.
At least not on a daily basis, when there isn’t a special event.
Town council opted not to change its mobile vending bylaw, which currently allows businesses like food trucks to operate during special events by invite only.
Councillors stated that changing the mobile vending policy at this time wouldn’t be in line with what Tanya Thorn referred to as an aggressive strategic plan for the next four years, and that it would take staff time away from developing important documents around commercial and municipal development.
It doesn’t really add up.
Many other municipalities, like High River and the MD of Foothills, already have policies in place. So do Strathmore and Cochrane, and other communities in the Calgary region - which is where Okotoks-based food trucks are forced to make their living.
Why not take a page from these other municipalities and get the ball rolling?
Food trucks pay business licence fees similar to their brick-and-mortar cousins and would provide Okotokians and visitors more options for dining on the go. Of course there could be restrictions put in place, such as hours of operation permitted or areas of town where trucks can’t park.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to define what those are.
Allowing these mobile vendors to do business in their hometown is allowing them to boost the local economy, rather than taking their business elsewhere and supporting other municipalities instead.
They’re really no different than other eating establishments that have set up in town - they just happen to be able to operate in a new location every day if they choose to do so.
It’s time to open our minds and our streets to mobile vending.