Kent meals truck house owners band collectively over ordinance they are saying is an additional tax on enterprise

Linda and Michael Fiala, house owners of Roll Name Burgers, with the meals truck in Kent, Ohio. February 24, 2022

When Kent Metropolis Council authorized an ordinance addressing meals vans, Michael Fiala, proprietor of Taproot Catering and the Roll Name Burgers and Fries meals truck, thought the ordinance would make Kent a “meals truck pleasant metropolis.”

However as a substitute, as he seemed into the ordinance, he mentioned, his pleasure over the brand new regulation waned.

“This regulation doesn’t make it simpler for meals vans to function within the metropolis of Kent,” Fiala not too long ago informed Kent Metropolis Council. “It merely makes it simpler for the town to cope with meals vans and be compensated for his or her time coping with meals vans. Moreover, for the eight to 10 meals vans and cellular meals providers primarily based in Kent, this quantities in essence to an excise tax on their enterprise.”

Kent Metropolis Council authorized the ordinance in January. Regulation Director Hope Jones mentioned the regulation gives for an inspection and allowing course of for cellular meals distributors.

“The aim of this ordinance is to make sure that any meals truck that operates within the metropolis is secure, sanitary and meets well being and hearth inspections,” she mentioned. Nonetheless, Fiala and different distributors say they already pay for such inspections below present legal guidelines.

Metropolis Supervisor Dave Ruller and Jones have pledged to work with meals distributors and produce prompt adjustments to the regulation again to metropolis council.

In the meantime, Fiala mentioned he has reached out to his fellow meals truck distributors to provide you with an off-the-cuff affiliation.

“What this has carried out is introduced the meals vans in Kent collectively,” he mentioned. “We need to have a typical voice, we need to work with the town, make it secure. None of us need to blow ourselves up, all of us need to promote plenty of good meals, all of us need to make cash …all of us need to run a enterprise within the metropolis of Kent.”

Fiala requested council, in addition to employees within the metropolis supervisor’s workplace, a number of questions concerning the ordinance. He anxious that smaller distributors is likely to be discouraged from working meals vans within the metropolis.

He and his spouse, Linda, principally use their meals truck for personal occasions, storing it by their catering enterprise on North Water Road.

Ruller informed council the ordinance was meant to reply to adjustments out there. A previous ordinance solely allowed meals truck operators to arrange in a number of places downtown, a transfer he mentioned was made as a result of council needed to assist “brick and mortar companies.”

“We’re seeing increasingly more locations in Kent that do not need to have a full kitchen, so they convey in these guys,” he mentioned.

Jeff Crowe, who owns Erie Road Kitchen and Cafe Venice and likewise has a meals truck, mentioned cash is tight for all distributors, who already pay charges for inspections each time they arrange.

“300 {dollars} right here, 300 {dollars} there, all of it provides up,” Crowe informed council.

Jones mentioned an “inner metropolis group” goes over the questions and issues raised by meals distributors. Town, she mentioned, will meet with the distributors “as soon as a few of the prompt adjustments are made.”

Fiala and his spouse mentioned that whereas meals truck house owners need their voices to be heard, they do not need to take an adversarial tone.

“We simply want to search out out a greater means of seeing how that appears for meals vans,” Linda Fiala mentioned.

Reporter Diane Smith will be reached at [email protected]

This text initially appeared on File-Courier: Kent meals truck house owners band collectively over ordinance