City passes mobile food truck ordinance

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Bainbridge City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance governing mobile food trucks within the city limits.

“We had some interest from the community to have food trucks be allowed to operate in the city,” assistant city manger Roy Oliver said. “We had the mobile food truck and the mobile car wash come up about the same time and we were working on both of them.”

The ordinance oversees all mobile food units including food trucks, ice cream trucks and pushcarts. Bainbridge’s ordinance was modeled after one previously approved by Roswell, Georgia. 

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“I think it is a good idea,” council member Don Whaley said. “The one that it is going to affect the most is the shaved ice person. Any other opportunities for a good place to eat is a plus.”

Kregg Close added, “I think the mobile food truck ordinance was a good ordinance to be passed. It gives an opportunity for good food vending in the city. I think it is a plus for the city as well as the all ready operating icee truck because I like that myself. I think it’s a good thing.”

Before applying for a mobile food unit license in Bainbridge, the operator must receive a permit from the Department of Health and meet all state requirements. This includes having a permitted base of operations and having possible routes on file. The base of operations does not have to be located in Bainbridge or even Decatur County. The food truck will not have to strictly follow the planned routes, but it must outline possible locations where it will be set up.

Food trucks in Bainbridge will be restricted to operating in commercial districts only and they must have previous permission from the owner of the property to operate. Foods trucks will also be allowed to operate during city sponsored events such as the Downtown Jubilee and Rivertown Days.

Other than ice cream trucks, food trucks are restricted from operating in public right-of-ways, unless it is during a city event, and from making “sounds or announcements to call attention.” Mobile food trucks are also limited to selling food and non-alcoholic beverages and must meet additional requirements from the Department of Agriculture before selling dairy products such as ice cream. 

Operators interested in operating a mobile food unit can apply for all permits including those from the Department of Health and the City of Bainbridge at city hall.

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