A new food truck law finally passed out of Rochester City Hall this week after months of council debate, a mayoral veto and a healthy public discussion about small business.
The new law allows trucks to operate in a zone downtown after vendors pay a $150 license fee and a $1,100 franchise fee.
City Council Member Michael Wojcik said he was disappointed the fee was set that high, saying anti-food truck forces were worried the mobile vendors would undercut restaurants. The fee levels were enough to chase at least one potential food truck away, he said.
Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has said he favors traditional restaurants, but plenty of local residents and Mayo Clinic employees told the council to help bring the popular food truck scene to Rochester streets.
Rochester has about 35,000 workers downtown.
Applications were made available the day after the law passed and trucks could appear soon.
A year ago the city had a healthy food truck debate after BB’s Pizzeria food truck tried to circumvent the city’s ban on food trucks on downtown streets by making a deal with a local church to use their driveway in exchange for a percentage of sales. The law at the time food trucks to operate in the city, just not in the central business district on public land. It also requires food trucks to move every 15 minutes.