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City Approves Ordinance on Mobile Food Units

By Jane Whitmore - | Feb 25, 2021

by Jane Whitmore

Emmetsburg City Council voted unanimously to adopt a city ordinance that allows mobile food units at their Monday night meeting.

A proposal to allow mobile food units in the City of Emmetsburg was discussed late last year. After listening to the pros and cons, council members tabled action on the ordinance. The code section outlines peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants and would also include mobile food units.

With the proposal on the Feb. 22 agenda, City Administrator Kim Kibbie addressed the council.

“This was tabled from November of last year,” she reminded the councilmen. “I still feel very strongly that we need to have something on the books.”

She pointed out that there are mobile food units that want to come in to the community. She also noted there are local businesses that want to have mobile units.

“We have events that bring them in and I feel it is really important that we are looking at the safety of our citizens and making sure that they are licensed and insured,” Kibbie added. “I would recommend approving this as written.”

The motion was introduced by Councilman Mike Hermansen, with a second by Councilman Bill Burdick. All councilmen voted in favor: Councilmen Hermansen and Burdick, along with Ryan Berkland, Brian Malm, and Steve Finer. Councilman Todd Bell was absent from the meeting.

Councilmen acted to waive the second and third readings.

“You don’t think there will be any more people that want to give their input?” asked Councilman Finer.

Mayor Pat Degen asked the City Administrator, “You haven’t had any calls, have you?”

Kim Kibbie responded, “No. At this point we’re done with public comment unless they are going to contact you guys outside of our meeting.”

She added, “We have not had any further contact. The Chamber Board said they were not in favor of it. The contact I’ve had was from people who said they thought the $500 (fee) was too much. Other than that, I have not had any other contact.”

The vote to waive the second and third readings passed unanimously. Ordinance 581 was adopted by Emmetsburg City Council, with all voting in favor.

Ordinance 581, which amends Chapter 122 of the City Code, outlines the definition, license required, exemptions, application for license, license fees, license issued, and bonds required.

A “mobile food unit” is described as “a self-propelled or non-self-propelled vehicle or trailer that is operable and currently licensed through the Depart- ment of Motor Vehicles. A mobile food unit contains a mobile kitchen and facilitates the preparation, marketing, and sale of food that is whole and unprocessed, packages, prepared, and/or not potentially hazardous.”

Read the full article in The Democrat.