HUDSON -- Hudson Common Council members expressed concern about the competition food trucks would bring to local restaurants in a discussion about a potential mobile food vendor ordinance at the Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting.
City Clerk Jennifer Rogers said she has received several requests for food truck permits, but the city does not currently have anything in code for them. She asked council if this is something the city would like to pursue.
Mayor Rich O’Connor said a food truck could be the solution to providing concessions at the beach house at Lakefront Park. The high water level provides difficulties for the concession stand, which serves snack items. O’Connor said city discussed serving hot and cold food there, and a food truck would not have to deal with issues when the electricity is out due to high waters.
He said he would like to see licensing for food trucks operating in any capacity in the city.
Council member Randy Morrissette said the city’s restaurants work hard to make downtown Hudson what it is.
“I think it would be a travesty for us to have a truck come in and take that money away from them that they work so hard for,” he said.
O’Connor agreed. He said the only way he’d support one was if it was run by an existing downtown restaurant. City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick said the city would likely not be able to dictate that, as it is not supposed to regulate for the purpose of restraining competition.
Council member Sarah Atkins Hoggatt said that could also pit the existing restaurants against each other, as one may be able to afford a food truck while another may not.
“I don’t think that’s what the council should do to local businesses,” Atkins Hoggatt said.
Current local restaurants with food trucks include Pita Pit and Fiesta Cancun.
Atkins Hoggatt said the issue needs to be vetted before council makes a decision.
Council member Joyce Hall said the Hudson Chamber of Commerce could take a look at it. Chamber Director Mary Claire Olson Potter said she would be happy to look at it. She said there are many issues to consider, and thanked the council for doing its due diligence.
“You have brick and mortars here who pay property taxes and pay employees, and those dollars come back to the community,” she said.
The council approved sending the issue to the Hudson Plan Commission.