The city of Lorena is moving forward with plans to test a pilot program to allow food trucks to operate within city limits.
City Manager Joseph R. Pace gave a presentation Monday to the city council after two months of research covering a variety of topics regarding allowing the added food service.
The council directed Pace to schedule a public hearing to receive additional feedback from residents and business owners. Councilman J. Fagner also encouraged Pace to include surveys and seek feedback through social media networks.
The council agreed to look into implementing a pilot program to allow for a trial run. Pace described possible locations to host food trucks, including McBrayer Park, which extends to Center Street just across a railroad track from the main section of downtown, as well as property the city owns adjacent to City Hall.
Pace said the latter property has been on the market for $90,000 for the past eight to nine months and has not received much interest.
Implementing a permanent food truck park there may require installing bathrooms, which would cost about $50,000, Pace said. The funding could be recouped through sales tax money, he said.
However, the park downtown already has new and improved bathroom facilities, along with shaded areas from a large number of trees, he said.
The Lorena Economic Development Corp. and the Greater Lorena Chamber of Commerce prompted discussion to gauge interest in allowing food trucks, Pace said.
The permitting process could narrow down what type of food trucks are allowed, as well as hours and days they are allowed to operate, Pace said.
“What we’re trying to do is keep out the roach coaches or the not-so-nice-looking and dirty food trucks,” he said. “People I do talk to in the community say they are interested in them.”
Fagner said he favors the idea…