Food trucks will roll into Community Park this holiday long weekend after Parksville city council consummated a deal with the chamber of commerce at a special meeting Tuesday night.
The Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce will manage the rotation of five trucks through the two serviced pads currently under construction next to the old concession building, which is being renovated into a larger washroom/changeroom facility. The chamber will pay the city $3,937.50/month in rent.
Until the pads are completed, likely before June 1, the two food trucks will sit on the gravel area by the ball fields. This weekend, the chamber is trying to get more than two trucks into the park. “We want to put on a show, get as many as we can down there,” chamber executive director Kim Burden said in an interview Wednesday.
Food truck operators and representatives of both the chamber and the Parksville Downtown Business Association were in the gallery Tuesday night for the vote. The staff report to council on this, the result of the second request for proposals issued by the city, included this: “Unless the approved vendors are satellite operations of existing businesses, they could be seen as a detriment to economic development by local physical business.”
Burden took that issue head-on when he addressed council Tuesday night before the meeting. “That is contrary to everything I have read,” said Burden. “The food truck industry becomes an attraction (for existing businesses).”
The city’s chief administrative officer Fred Manson said that portion of the report expressed observations from comments supplied to the city by the Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA).
After the meeting Tuesday night, PDBA president Sandy Herle was asked for her reaction to council’s unanimous vote in favour of the food trucks.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Herle.
The city’s first RFP netted what looked like a deal with Trollers Fish and Chips. That fizzled over the city’s insistence the trucks leave the park every night. Trollers owner Bruce Laird was in the gallery Tuesday night and told
The NEWS he believes forcing the trucks to leave every night will result in the illegal dumping of grey water near the park, as operators look to keep fuel costs in check.
On Wednesday, Burden said that wouldn’t happen. “We want them all to play by the rules — the rules are there to protect the public,” said Burden. “And the guys we have all play by the rules. All of our operators are really responsible — they operate in the community now. Besides, I don’t know why anyone would want to leave their truck in there overnight.”
Burden also said managing this rotation is not a revenue-generator for the chamber — “it’s a wash,” he said. Food trucks operators will be asked to become members of the chamber and members of the fledgling Vancouver Island Food Truck Association.
The five trucks that will be part of the rotation now are: Extreme Eatz, Bees Knees, Rolling Cones, AJ’s and Farm to Fire.