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Alpharetta Resident Asks City Council to Consider Food Truck Ideas

Nancy Berlo questions why businesses from outside the city should be brought in to compete with restaurants paying city property taxes, and offers her own solutions.

As a 24-year resident of Alpharetta, I am very pleased with most of the new ideas surfacing in our city.  I love that new restaurants are deciding to locate in our community, even though I am disappointed that some previous ones have not been able to “make it”.  I am happy to see that there is talk of focusing city events outside the basic downtown historic district, and would like to see it extended up the State Hwy. 9 corridor to Windward Parkway and perhaps across Haynes Bridge Rd. to near the NorthPoint Mall area.  Hopefully City Council will give some credence to these suggestions.

As concerning the idea of food trucks, I have some big problems.  Why would the city allow trucks to come in and make money at the expense of the restaurants that exist and pay property taxes in the city?  I do not see the mentality of hiring a company to supply these trucks (which pay no property tax) and allowing them to make money in the process, while the city has to provide security, road signs, port-a-potties, etc., etc., costing the residents thousands of dollars and bringing in no revenue.  Is it worth all this money to just attract people, especially to an event that profits only businesses that are not even based in Alpharetta?

If the city wants to have food trucks (and I think they could be a worthy addition) why shouldn’t Alpharetta sell licenses to these trucks on an annual basis?  It could be similar to obtaining a taxicab medallion, and the trucks would then have to obtain permission, either from the city or from private businesses for the locations and times they choose to operate. These license fees would offset their not paying property taxes.  The city would not be liable for providing security, potties and traffic signs, since these trucks would be in a specific location for only a short period of time, for example lunch, or located on private property. 

I do not understand why food trucks should be limited to “special events”, but if there is a general desire to do so, the events would have to be arranged for through the city with facilities and special fees charged accordingly.  Similarly, fees could be assessed for alcohol permits, if applied for, but perhaps only for use during designated “special events”. 

I would like to see City Council get a sense of the of the residents’ viewpoints concerning this issue, and not just give cursory approval, limiting the location to downtown, costing the city money with no revenue, and not researching other suggestions and ideas.

Nancy Berlo
Alpharetta

Dave Taft February 07, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Totally agree. Well thought out comments.
Tom Miller February 08, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Totally agree. Some of us have raised the same concerns.
No Name February 08, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Exactly.
Nancy Berlo February 12, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Thank you to Dave Taft, Tom Miller, & No Name for your support. It is nice to know that someone agrees with me. It would have been nice, however to, at the very least, get an acknowledgement of my letter and my concerns from more than one City Council member.
Travis Allen February 12, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Couldn't have said it better.

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