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Grande Prairie food truck rules going under the microscope

The City of Grande Prairie will be looking to update its bylaws surrounding food trucks after a recent presentation from a vendor sparked a lengthy discussion. According to the current bylaws, all units are required to have an inspection from the fire department, Alberta Health Services, and Inspection Services.

Upon successful inspections, the unit is awarded a sticker, from each authority for the current year. While none of those major rules will be changed, council will be discussing items such as taxation and available locations.

Mayor Bill Given says the first task for city staff will be to identify some potential new sites for food trucks in 2020 and beyond.

“With a longer-term view, we asked administration to bring forward an overall review of the food truck regulations in the city,” he says. “That would be recognizing that it’s pretty complicated… there are a whole bunch of city departments that are in some way impacted, and we would want to make sure that we’ve heard from them and industry.”

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Given says one of the larger sticking points from those in the service industry revolves around food trucks operating without the need to pay property taxes, as they don’t have a fixed location. Given says they’re open to any debate when it comes to creating a level playing field.

“We appreciate the fact that a business that [has] a physical location in a regular building does have the extra overhead costs of property taxes and we want to ensure we are fair to those existing businesses. We are also open and ready for innovation and for something that is obviously a demand for in the market, so I think that balancing act is something we will consider when looking at the overall review of the system.”

As of June 2020, 18 food trucks are operating within the City of Grande Prairie, with the primary locations including Muskoseepi Park and the parking lots of Ernie Sports Experts and Bullets and Broadheads.

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