By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City Council is trying to come up with a winning recipe for legislation allowing food trucks to do business in the community.
The first public meetings to devise food truck legislation will be held Monday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 3, at 9 a.m., both in the city council chambers. The public is welcome at both meetings, said council member Bill Herald, who is leading the committee in charge of the legislation.
For years, food truck businesses have shown interest in setting up shop in Bowling Green, but with no success.
In 2016, Mac Henry told City Council he would like to open up a food truck business, but that the city ordinance is too restrictive.
Henry said the ordinance limits hours of operation to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and restricts food trucks to 150 feet from the throughway. The rules are “not very conducive to opening a food truck in this town,” he said.
Henry said food trucks are currently “a big part of the culinary innovation” going on in the nation.
Council member John Zanfardino agreed with Henry that changes were in order.
“Right now our ordinance is totally prohibitive, if you get right down to it,” he said back in 2016, mentioning the growing trend of food trucks. “I think it’s a coming thing.”
Council member Sandy Rowland noted the success of food trucks in Perrysburg, where the businesses set up one evening a week.
“It might be an opportunity to provide people with something to do,” she said.
Henry said he realized mobile food businesses can be a “touchy subject,” since they are seen as competition for brick and mortar restaurants already in business. But food trucks offer young people a chance to break into the business, he said.
In 2017, Aaron Evanoff returned from overseas deployment and came to City Council with his plan.
His dream was to start a hotdog stand. As a member of the U.S. Air Force National Guard, he came up with the business name, “High-Flying Hot Dogs.” Evanoff enthusiastically presented an abridged version of his business plan to Bowling Green City Council.
“My goal is to provide a meaningful service,” Evanoff said.
He has no desire to take business from existing food service providers.
“I’m not looking for anyone else’s market. I’m looking for my own,” Evanoff said.
Also at this week’s City Council meeting, Bowling Green Planning Director Heather Sayler reminded that the final presentation of the Community Action Plan will be Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., in the atrium at the Wood County Courthouse.
“We want the public to come out and learn about the plan,” Sayler said.