Beaver Dam Council Says Food Trucks Now Require Permits

(Beaver Dam) Food trucks planning on parking in Beaver Dam now have to obtain a permit. The common council this week adopted changes to their direct sellers ordinance to include mobile food kitchens. At the same time, the council updated and simplified other aspects of the ordinance governing things like short term vending and door-to-door solicitations. Food truck operators now need to obtain a direct sellers permit from the city which costs $15 and is good for one year. The ordinance allows a city inspection of the food truck, prohibits operating hours between 8pm and 9am and restricts operations on city property without prior approval. The ordinance also now allows for a “host permit” to be issued to a private business located in the city to allow food trucks or other direct sellers to operate on their premises. A third permit outlined in the ordinance allows the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce to obtain an umbrella permit for events.
“So if the chamber backs your event,” Alderman Ken Anderson contends, “you get preferential treatment because you don’t have to pay the fees.”
“Yea the intent here is to create a preferential treatment for the chamber you’re absolutely right,” says City Attorney Larry Konopacki, “given the function of that entity and its close connection with city affairs, the intent is definitely to create an opportunity for chamber events.”
There are exemptions outlined in the ordinance for delivering newspapers, groceries and baked goods. Council President Mike Wissell sought assurance from City Administrator Nathan Thiel that Girl Scouts would not be prohibited from selling cookies who are no longer specifically mentioned.
“This ordinance is an enforcement tool against nuisance individuals or groups that try to take advantage of a community, think pushy salesman or peddler,” Theil says, “Generally, the Girls Scouts — or school club kids fundraising — are not considered a nuisance, so it really does not require us addressing it in the ordinance; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Theil says the more exemptions that are listed, the more opportunities there are for undesirable merchants to exploit the ordinance.