NEWS HEADLINES

Bridgeport City Council lets food trucks stay put

By Jake Harris | Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mobile food truck owners who prepare their own food on-site can now stay in one place for more than three hours, after the Bridgeport City Council approved an amendment to the city code at their Tuesday night meeting.

The amendment lets mobile food operators stay in a spot more than three hours as long as they provide patrons with trash receptacles, and there are restrooms within 300 feet of the truck. It does not apply to vendors who sell prepackaged food, like ice cream trucks.

The food truck issue came to the council at its Aug. 5 meeting, when Five Boys Ranch food truck owner Ryder Holley talked about how he had to move his truck 50 feet to another spot just to comply with city code.

The original code said mobile food operators could not stay on one spot more than three hours.

The council also discussed the possible installation of a food truck park, but did not include it in the code. It will be discussed at future meetings.

Mayor Corey Lane opened Tuesday’s meeting with a statement on the unrest currently underway in Ferguson, Mo., saying that he was happy he lived in Bridgeport.

“It’s just a real messed-up situation, and I’m happy that I’m living here in Texas,” Lane said.

The council also unanimously approved a $1,000 lease agreement between the city and Robert Chaney for the use of a haunted house at 1407 Carpenter St. According to the agreement, the lease would run Aug. 25-Nov. 17. The haunted house would open Sept. 26 through Nov. 1, open 6-10 p.m. Thursdays and 6 to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

“I think it could be a good thing for the city and a good thing for our community,” Councilman David Correll said.

Another business lobbied the council for special exceptions for sign permits at a public hearing. The new Allsup’s that is being constructed at 1603 Chico Highway wants to put up a 138-square-foot pole sign, exceeding the 100-square-foot maximum for signs. This would be allowed under the city code as long as the use of the sign “serves the general welfare and preserves the community interest.”

The council unanimously approved the exception, but not without a lengthy discussion about why the 100-square-foot limit was established in the first place.

“What’s the purpose of the 100-square-foot rule if we’re just going to keep breaking it?” Councilman Calvin Coursey asked.

The council agreed that the rule was something that they should look into in the future.

OTHER BUSINESS

  • The council held a workshop discussing whether the Bridgeport airport should remain open during its upcoming runway construction. The FAA won’t allow it to be open for safety reasons, but some community members were worried about the effect closure would have on their businesses. The council put the item on its Sept. 9 meeting agenda.
  • A resolution opposing the proposed natural gas rate case rules being considered by the Railroad Commission passed 5-0. The proposed rules would limit cities’ abilities to review and challenge gas rate hikes.
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield health and dental insurance, Superior Vision eye insurance and Assurant life insurance coverage purchases were approved 5-0.
  • Public hearings were held to adopt a $22,848,580 budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year and a maximum tax rate of 58.57 cents per $100 valuation for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The next public hearing on the budget will be Sept. 2 and formal adoption of the budget will be Sept. 16.
  • The council unanimously approved entering into a contract with the Texas Department of Agriculture to reconstruct about 1,500 feet of water lines at Turkey Creek and about 1,100 feet of water lines on Cobb Street. The city will pay 20 percent of the contract, or $105,800.
  • A motion to continue advertising the sale of 225 acres of property on Rutherford Ranch until the council could solicit a real estate broker to sell the property passed 4-0, with Councilman Meyers abstaining.
  • The presentation of the 2010 annual report and analysis of racial profiling statistics for police personnel did not happen because it was removed from the agenda packet.

The council’s next regular meeting is Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. at 900 Thompson Street. It is open to the public.

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