Oxford adopts food truck rules ahead of summer events

·2 min read

Jun. 23—OXFORD — A new ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday night defines the rules for food trucks within city limits, which has been a topic of discussion in the last several meetings.

Among those rules: Food trucks will need an annual business license from the city and an annual operating permit via the Fire Department, prove ServSafe certification and operate in specified areas, usually with permission from property owners or the city, if working on public property.

The ordinance has a few friendly touches for existing businesses, and one will make life easier for kids home on summer vacation: While no food truck can remain stationary in residential areas more than three minutes at a time (for the sake of traffic), an exception was made for ice cream trucks. They get 15 minutes between stops.

Councilwoman Charlotte Hubbard has been the key council member pushing for the ordinance, which governs "mobile food units" that include food trucks and other food vehicles, pushcarts and tents. She thanked Main Street Oxford director Hunter Gentry and city attorney Ron Allen for their work drafting the ordinance.

"We're excited, now that we have Food Truck Fridays in our city," Hubbard said during the meeting. "We've had interest from trucks in Birmingham ... Hopefully this will generate some more interest and let them know we welcome them into our city."

Food Truck Fridays is a monthly event held every second Friday downtown, bringing food trucks together to create something akin to an outdoor food court. This month was the inaugural event. The ordinance will likely be of use during Independence Day festivities as well.

During its meeting, the City Council also:

— Approved the purchase of a fire alarm system at the Choccolocco Park storage facility. The monitored unit will alert the Fire Department if it detects a fire, according to Ben Stewart, assistant fire chief. Telephone Communications, Inc., will provide the unit at a cost of $12,616.53.

— Solidified a longstanding city policy regarding on-premise alcohol consumption licensing. A new ordinance states that any business that earns more than half its revenue from alcoholic beverage sales will be denied an on-premise consumption license.

Mayor Alton Craft said the policy had been followed in the city for decades, but the new rule makes it official.

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.

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