How on earth does anyone run a city this way? According to this story from the city Gallopolis, Ohio has determined that they are going to look at regulating food trucks. They have determined that the best way to proceed to issue permits by lottery for three separate parking locations. The problem, there are 25 mobile food businesses registered in the county. They plan on charging vendors $1500 per year and feel that this is fair since they don’t have to pay property taxes.

GALLIPOLIS, OH — Gallipolis City Commission passed the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday that would outline the regulations and processes by which a mobile food vendor could set up within municipal limits.

Holly Campbell, proprietor of the traveling food trailer Hot Rod Cafe, was a resident of the Patriot area who originally approached the commission last July. She wanted to place her concessions trailer along the road in Gallipolis City Park during lunch. Controversy followed as Gallipolis has not officially legalized regulation of mobile concessions as means of permanent business in the area. Some individuals were vocal in their criticism of the business model, saying mobile concessions do not pay the same “dues” as typical restaurants in the form of taxes and business investment.

Campbell claimed her business was as permanent as any and wanted to remain a fixture around town. She added that because her business model is different does not make it any less valid and that she should not be penalized for it. After months had passed, City Code Enforcement Officer Brett Bostic and City Solicitor Adam Salisbury traveled to places like Athens and Columbus — cities that are well known for their mobile concessions — to get a better idea of how mobile concessions should be regulated.

“We’re going to try mobile food vending,” Salisbury said. “You can apply to receive a license for your mobile food vending operation. We are going to have a lottery type draw system where you apply. Your rig is checked out to make sure everything is working and make sure that you have all the required inspections from the Ohio Department of Health. If your application is chosen, you can apply for one of three spots at City Park (that can operate) Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.”

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