PEORIA, IL – Short sighted politicians have struck again. This time in Peoria, IL. Last night with a 6-5 vote, the cities City Council disapproved an ordinance which would have allowed food trucks to begin operate in within the city limits.
The ordinance, which if approved, would have charged truck operators $3,400 to serve food at approved locations within the Warehouse District, in front of the Peoria Civic Center and along Hamilton Boulevard next to the Peoria County Courthouse. The fee was $1,000 less for truck operators who already own a restaurant.
Outside the Downtown area, the ordinance restricted food trucks from being within 200 feet of existing restaurants. It also established a 500-foot restriction on food trucks from schools, carnivals, festivals and other special events.
While the fees and parking restrictions were way out of balance compared to most municipalities around the country, if it had been approved, it would have allowed mobile food vendors to begin operating.
Those who voted against the ordinance seem to be missing the point of the mobile food industry and this point appears to be proven by a comment made by the Mayor himself. According to Mayor Jim Ardis, “The existing brick and mortar business people have to pay for air conditioning when its 100 degrees out and pay for heat when it’s 10 below. The mobile vendor keeps his truck in the garage.”
Had the mayor really took the time to investigate the issue, he would have realized that when a food truck is parked inside a garage due to inclement weather, the food truck isn’t doing business. But why would that matter? The mayor is too concerned with protecting one business model (brick and mortar restaurants) from another (food trucks). The last time I checked, that wasn’t the role of local government.
If you would like to share your thoughts with the city representatives who voted down this ordinance, you can find their contact information below:
Jim Ardis: JArdis@ci.peoria.il.us
Bill Spears: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Irving: email@example.com
Clyde Gulley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Turner: email@example.com