City Council Votes to Extend Mobile Food Vending Pilot Program for Three Months

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The food truck pilot program is extremely popular. The folks downtown love it.

"They should absolutely keep them. Yeah, I think they`re great. It`s been long overdue in the city," said Jeremy Bingaman.

"It`s a nice option for downtown diners, and I think they offer a variety of stuff that you can`t get in a sit down restaurant," said Mike Beumer.

“It’s kind of been a big movement throughout the country and so I think Des Moines’ catching up with other cities. It brings some new options available that maybe weren’t previously available in the greater Des Moines area. I think it also gets people out and it’s nice to see people out enjoying themselves in the community," said Jody Mashek.

"I think it gives people working downtown an opportunity and i just think it's good for Des Moines," said Vickie Lynch.

The program has been an overwhelming success, but it has created some problems. "We did have an issue with parking for school buses bringing kids down around the sculpture park in particular. The food trucks were taking up all of the space right there where kids typically pull, the buses typically pull up and they get off on the sidewalk, so we`re gonna make a change and have a loading/unloading zone on 13th street for the school buses," said Ward III City Council Member Christine Hensley. And there's another hiccup that needs to be worked out regarding space. "We have so many vendor trucks that want to go to the sculpture park, which is in zone A, that maybe we have to cap that because the sculpture park, it was just overwhelmed," said Hensley.

The state house is another area that has been popular with the vendors. All in all, Hensley is excited about the program and says the mobile food vendors in Des Moines are filling a need.

Hensley says because the mobile food vending program was originally passed as an ordinance on a pilot basis, the city council had to extend it for three months tonight to prevent it from ending this Friday. The trial period ran from April 17 through October 31. The council will take the issue back up in January and vote on whether to make the program permanent.

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