Pizzeria owner asks town council to consider food truck permitting



The owner of a Brownstown pizzeria has asked town leaders to consider putting a permitting process in place for food trucks.

Mason Fleetwood said he is not opposed to food trucks.

“I’m not here to bury a food truck or try to stop food trucks completely in Brownstown,” the owner of Blondie’s Pizzeria and Pub told town council members during a recent meeting.

Fleetwood said it’s his understanding the town does not have ordinances governing food trucks.

“Everybody here knows I’ve done the food truck thing,” he said. “I’ve set up, and I’ve done it. I didn’t own a business in the town at the time.”

Fleetwood said it would be bad karma for him to say the food trucks that have set up in town recently are killing his business because they are not.

“There’s not many of them in town, but there is,” he said. “There are nine places in town you can eat lunch at on a Friday.”

Fleetwood said on a few Fridays this past summer, there were three food trucks.

“By percentage, you’re really increasing depending upon how many shows up,” he said.

He said he thinks the town needs to tighten up a little bit.

“Nothing is free to play,” Fleetwood said.

He said he thinks the council should set a fee for food trucks to set up in town and maybe look at limiting places they can set up.

Fleetwood said the council could take the money from the permits to tackle projects in town, such as purchasing more Christmas lights for light poles on Main Street downtown. He said that would make the town look more attractive.

Fleetwood said he couldn’t even say having a food truck set up in town costs or would cost his business money.

“Lots of days when there are food trucks, we’re busier,” he said. “I don’t understand it. It’s Brownstown.”

Fleetwood said he thinks the town should have some guidelines for food trucks in place.

“We’re at four now,” he said. “Six different food trucks that roll through here at different times.”

Town attorney Travis Thompson said the town can require a permit for food trucks.

“It’s more because of health and safety,” he said.

He later said the town can’t do anything to control commerce, such as limit the number of food trucks and when they can set up, but it can deal with health and safety issues.

Council President Gregg Goshorn said he has researched the issue and feels there are a couple of ways a town or city can try to regulate food trucks.

“You can give them a permit and have them pay a flat amount for a year pass,” he said. “You can try to limit where they set up, not within a certain distance of a brick and mortar store.”

Fleetwood said anything that happens in the town affects everyone.

“We’re a small town, so it affects us all,” he said.

Fleetwood said so many people in town complain about the races at Brownstown Speedway on Saturday and don’t realize how much revenue the races bring to town.

“When they race on Saturday night, you can tell we are busier,” he said.

That often means bringing in help earlier because people will stop to eat before heading out to the track.

Goshorn said the council would do some more research and discuss the issue further.

Seymour requires a yearly permit for food trucks and also requires them to receive approval from the board of public works and safety if they want to set up shop on city-owned property or approval from parks and recreation department board if they want to set up in a park.

The Jackson County Health Department also requires food trucks to have a permit.

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