SBE News

The Executive Summary #07

The food truck trials.

by Joe Chimenti

The food truck trials.

At the March 21 Redding City Council meeting the following appeared on the agenda:

Community Services 9.6(a). Concession Agreement with Todd Franklin for a food truck court at Carnegie Park [P-050-300/A-070] Recommendation: Approve a Concession Agreement with Todd Franklin for a food truck court at Carnegie Park for a period of two (2) years with an initial monthly fee of $850 per month in consideration of access privileges, with an option to extend upon mutual agreement for two (2) additional five (5) year terms.

Now, at first glance, this seems like a simple enough issue. People eat food…food is sometimes served from a food truck. People purchase…food truck makes money…and the community (and an individual’s appetite) is served. Seems simple…right?

After an endless number of speakers (were they being bussed in from other cities?), the issue became as complex and convoluted as health care today (OK…that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point).

It seemed like every social and political issue came to play (again, these are food trucks). Was this an improper use of City land? Where would this “push” the less than desirable individuals who were previously occupying the park? Was the local government favoring this venture over established businesses already downtown? Was the area safe given its proximity to the railroad? Had this issue been adequately vetted with all concerned citizens and business in downtown? Should food trucks even be allowed in downtown? And what about parking??? The debate was vigorous, and both sides made compelling arguments. Then it moved to the dais.

After much discussion among the members, The Council voted 3 to 2 to approve the concession agreement and offer food trucks to our downtown residents and visitors. Will it provide a spark to continued revitalization? No way to know in the short-term…but, time always tells.

Speaking of time…it’s lunchtime. Where to go eat???