Following in the footsteps of its neighbor city, Bettendorf has decided to create a similar food truck ordinance in order to maintain continuity in the region.
Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter and Public Relations Social Media Events Coordinator Denice Enfield presented the City Council with an overview of Davenport's ordinance as well a recommendation to move forward with its own ordinance during Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting.
"We believe that we have the opportunity to make this look like a wonderful regional initiative," Reiter said. "We certainly want to do something very, very close in line with Davenport and other municipalities in the Iowa Quad-Cities. We certainly don't want to have a set of ordinances in each town to where these food truck operators are bouncing back and forth to skirt rules."
Davenport's food truck ordinance went into effect last month, requiring a $55 mobile food license in addition to a $550 annual mobile food permit.
Its ordinance also established two zones, the riverfront and East 2nd and Iowa streets, for operation.
To operate on private property, the property owner is required to fill out a special occurrence permit and pay a $100 fee.
While Bettendorf aldermen were supportive of helping the food truck businesses, they also voiced concerns about protecting the interest of brick and mortar restaurants that pay property taxes.
"I think having this fee leveling the playing field a little bit," Alderman Scott Webster, 5th Ward, said.
Bettendorf has not yet established what zones it will establish or its fee structure, which prevented traditional brick and mortar restaurants from commenting on a proposed ordinance, but for those that did, Enfield said that the city received mixed feedback.
"Happy Joe's at Cumberland Square said it was a great idea," Enfield said. "Subway, right of here (by City Hall), does not endorse it all. They are very uncomfortable with the idea and think it's a direct competition with them."
Reiter said a preliminary ordinance would be drafted in the next month and was a necessary step to provide more health regulation and structure for food trucks, which are expected to pop up more frequently in the summer months.
"If we don't do anything, we're likely to have a scene like we've had the last couple of summers and they will find private property to locate on," Reiter said.