KEARNEY — Expect to see food trucks in the parking lot north of the Museum of Nebraska Art soon.
The Kearney City Council voted 5-0 to approve the creation of a new permit at its Tuesday meeting. The permits will allow food trucks to park on the northern edge of the parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Five of the permits will be made available annually and will be issued first come, first served. Vendors can purchase the permit for $100. It will be in addition to the required itinerant merchant permit that allows food trucks to operate in city limits.
The new permit will provide an extra opportunity for food truck operators, City Attorney Michael Tye said.
“They’re not required to get this permit,” Tye said. “If they want to continue to be on a private lot, they can continue to do that. This is just another opportunity for them.”
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Michael Park, owner of The Food Truck, brought the issue of expanding food truck parking options to the council in March. After the meeting, he said he was pleased with the passage of the permit and thought the process of working with the city was very positive.
“I started out with a pie-in-the-sky idea, and was quickly brought to reality with the fact that I can’t have everything. This is a good start for our industry in Kearney, so I’m quite pleased,” Park said.
At the meeting, council members questioned Tye about how the limit of five permits was selected and if first come, first served was the right way to distribute the permits. Tye said the number was largely based on the number of vehicles that could fit on the north side of the parking lot.
“We thought five was appropriate. It could end up being that there’s one food truck there or two food trucks, and that’s the only ones who choose to participate,” Tye said. “We’re not anticipating that we’d have a large number of people who’d want these permits.”
To obtain a permit, vendors must provide proof of insurance with a minimum coverage of $1 million together with an insurance certificate naming the city of Kearney as an additional insured. The vendor must also agree to hold the city of Kearney harmless from any and all claims that result from its use.
The trucks must be completely mobile and cannot provide chairs or tables for customers. They are also not allowed to use electrical connections to the city of Kearney, and cannot use loudspeakers, radios or sound amplifiers to attract attention.
Vendors must provide trash receptacles adjacent to or as part of their vehicles, and they are not allowed to discharge or dump any material from their vehicles onto the city’s property.
The permits will be available from the Kearney Police Department in 15 days.
Food trucks will also now be included as part of the restaurant occupation tax. They were exempted when it passed in 2014.
In other business, the council:
- Approved a lease-purchase agreement between the city and the City of Kearney Facilities Corp. to fund the annual debt service on the $7.5 million bond for the Patriot Park complex
- Confirmed Josiah Gillming and Kevin Kalkowski as new members of the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department.
- Renewed Crossroads Center Rescue Mission’s conditional-use permit for five years.
- Removed regulations for tattoo businesses from the city code. The city’s regulations for tattoo shops were adopted in 1991 and are more lenient than the state of Nebraska’s regulations, which are currently enforced.