Helena considering ordinance to allow food trucks continued use in neighborhoods

The city of Helena will consider passing an ordinance at the next council meeting to allow food trucks to continue to operate in local neighborhoods. (File)

The city of Helena will consider passing an ordinance at the next council meeting to allow food trucks to continue to operate in local neighborhoods. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Helena council members heard from two individuals regarding food trucks operating in local neighborhoods at the Monday, June 13, Helena City Council meeting and an ordinance is expected to be put on the agenda at the next council meeting.

In previous months, various food trucks have been operating in neighborhoods such as Old Cahaba where residents have come down to enjoy ice cream, tacos, and other food items typically between the hours of 4-7 p.m. an average of 2-3 times a week.

Helena resident Patricia Greenlea was at the meeting June 13, and said the food trucks have brought the community together in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“The trucks have brought our neighborhood together in a way that it has not been before,” said Greenlea. “I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. I see people at the trucks that I haven’t seen in months or years and we rekindle our friendships. At the pools a lot of people are going up there now and spending Saturday afternoons to swim and enjoy their children and also feed their families. It’s just literally brought our community together.”

The Helena Council members agreed that the trucks are good for camaraderie but an ordinance still needs to be in place to ensure the trucks are up to date on certain licenses and permits for safety.

“I don’t think anyone disagrees with trucks being there but I think we all agree that they just need to be handled in the right way and need to be licensed and permitted,” said Helena Councilman Mike Jones.

As far as the food trucks possibly affecting other restaurants in the area, Greenlea said she “will still budget the same amount of money to go out to eat with or without the food trucks.”

“When I go out to eat I get up, get dressed, put makeup on and I go out to eat,” said Greenlea. “When I go to a food truck, I’m only at the location the truck is at or I run down with no makeup on and my hair undone, it’s completely different things. We all still go out to eat the same because it’s a different experience than grabbing a taco from a truck.”