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Food truck fee reduction fails to gain traction in Madison County

Madison County officials have yet to reach a decision on lowering fees for food trucks, with a final vote set for this Wednesday.

The Finance Committee on Thursday discussed reducing the fee for mobile food service establishments by $200 from $375, but it failed for lack of a motion.

County Board member and Finance Chair Chris Guy of Maryville said that the Health Department Committee voted on June 3, 4-1, to lower the fee. The County Board will vote on the issue during its monthly meeting at 5 p.m., June 15.

County Board member Jaime Goggin of Edwardsville, a member of the finance committee, said he is against the resolution.

“When (County Board members) set the fees (in 2018), they looked at the cost to the county,” Goggin said. “It actually costs the county more to inspect a food truck.”

Goggin said cutting the fee is going to cost the county and it should not fall on taxpayers to recover the costs.

“I’m not on board with this at all,” he said.

County Board member Gussie Glasper of Venice said she needed to learn more about the plan before approving it.

County Board members Robert Pollard of East Alton and Ryan Kneedler of Collinsville each said the move would not be fair to traditional restaurant owners. 

Currently there are 18 licensed mobile establishments in the county and around 1,400 restaurants/establishments.

The Health Department charges fees for food permit licenses based on the categories of each food establishments, which is 1 through 3.

Mobile food trucks are considered Category 1 and Category 2 establishments and inspected the same as a “brick and mortar” restaurant and eateries.

Category 1 and 1a facilities receive three inspections per year, or two inspections per year. Category 2 and 2a facilities receive one inspection per year.

Most of the food trucks fall into Category 1. The fees cover administrative costs within the health department and offset the cost of the food sanitation program

During the May Health Committee meeting, Alton city officials and the owners of Alton’s food truck park — Flock — asked the county to consider reducing the permit fee to attract more food trucks to Madison County.

The Flock food truck park in Alton.

 

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