Helena council approves food truck ordinance
Published 3:16 pm Thursday, July 28, 2016
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–Food trucks have been a popular topic of conversation this summer in certain neighborhoods in Helena, and on July 25, the Helena City Council members passed an ordinance that would enforce safety measures to protect Helena citizens as food trucks continue operation within city limits.
The city council passed a mobile food unit ordinance #839-16 on July 25, and Helena Councilman Hal Woodman played a large role in bringing the food trucks to the council’s attention and helping pass the ordinance.
“The city of Helena had not had a food truck ordinance and we had several events and we had neighborhoods actually having food trucks,” said Woodman. “So the city, for the protection of the citizens, decided to make an ordinance. Especially when it came to food inspection and things like that. The city council looked at ordinances out there and picked the best of all the cities and put it all together with the blessing of the city attorney and this is the second reading of this.”
In previous months, various food trucks have been operating in Helena 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.
The Helena Council members agreed that the trucks are good for camaraderie but an ordinance still needed to be in place to ensure the trucks are up to date on certain licenses and permits for safety.
At the June 13 Helena City Council meeting, Helena resident Patricia Greenlea 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.”