CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Phoebe Rios is looking forward to March, when warmer weather brings hungry people outdoors to find local food trucks.

She isn’t looking forward to renewing her mobile food vendor license, which at $550 a year, seems too expensive to Rios, considering all the other expenses of operating the Rio Burritos food truck she opened in 2016.

“As a food truck owner, I must pay for insurance for my truck, business insurance, a health license and a fee with the fire department,” said Rios, of Cedar Rapids. “I think the license with the city is pretty pricey in connection with everything we have to pay for.”

Cedar Rapids’s mobile food vendor ordinance was adopted in June 2016 to regulate how food trucks, stands and carts operate. The rules, retooled last year, prohibit mobile food vendors from operating between 2 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and within 100 feet of a restaurant entrance.

They also set standards for parking, trash cleanup, noise and fumes.

The new rules came with new fees, up from $150 to $300 a year in fiscal 2016 to $550 a year last year for all mobile food vendors.

The city collected $12,870 in licensing fees from mobile food vendors in fiscal 2017, nearly triple the $4,300 that came from this category of vendors in fiscal 2016.

Find the entire article at the gazette.com [here]