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We want the trucks to be welcome. Drew Weakley
HALTOM CITY, TX, April 01, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As Haltom City Council and staff of the city write a new ordinance to cover food trucks in Haltom City, the members of Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) are worried that the city will make the rules too restrictive and miss the opportunity that food trucks represent to add new businesses to Haltom City and offer the dining public more choices.
HUBA Executive Director Drew Weakley delivered a letter to the mayor and the members of Haltom City Council that offered the policymakers the business community's perspective on the proposed new rules.
The letter included these points:
1. Food trucks are currently licensed, permitted and inspected by Tarrant County, just as Haltom City's restaurants are. HUBA believes that food trucks that meet the country requirements and that have sufficient insurance don't pose a risk to the people of Haltom City.
2. Detailed rules are not needed to cover situations that market forces will handle. Food trucks are not going to go where they are not wanted or where they cannot make money, and that includes the residential parts of Haltom City. No business owner is going to permit food trucks on the premises if those trucks interfere with traffic in and out of the business or adequate parking for the business.
3. A new ordinance that limits trucks to one or two parks is a bad idea. HUBA believes that the people of Haltom City deserve more choices and that limiting trucks to one or two parts would be a mistake.
4. It isn't the proper role of City Council to protect existing businesses from new competitors. We have heard comments from at least 3 council members expressing concern about food trucks competing with existing businesses, but we do not believe the council is charged with limiting competition.
5. Opening the door to food trucks paves the way for more restaurants and will help efforts to create an entertainment district. Our citizens want more choices, and we believe allowing food trucks opens the door to more restaurants because successful food truck operators often open brick and mortar locations. We also believe that allowing food trucks throughout Haltom City could help efforts to create an entertainment district.
6. There is no upside to limiting food trucks for Haltom City. We don't see what the city gains by limiting food trucks. We fail to see any material risks associated with the trucks, beyond the health and safety issues which are handled by the county and by existing rules that require the trucks to be insured.
7. Haltom City should not try to control what kinds of business are welcome and where (and how) they can operate. Trying to do so strangles opportunities for the city to increase its sales and ad-valorem taxes and costs the people of Haltom City the chance to buy products and services they want and have job opportunities close to home.
Weakley said, "We want the trucks to be welcome in all of the retail, commercial and industrial parts of Haltom City as long as the trucks pass Tarrant County's inspections and have Tarrant County licenses and permits."
If the city wants to require the trucks to get a city permit after verifying that they meet county standards and wants the trucks to add Haltom City as an additional insured on their policies and requires them to report sales taxes collected while in Haltom City, we see those as reasonable requirements. Weakley said, "Once a truck agrees to them, however, it should be allowed in the city."
Currently, the only place in Haltom City where a food truck can legally serve food is as part of an event at Tarrant Events Center, a banquet hall owned by HUBA member Ron Sturgeon. "It took us more than 6 months and 2 rounds of public hearings to get the trucks allowed, and even then, they placed a lot of restrictions on them," said Sturgeon.
"Some members of Haltom City Council even wanted to control how many sinks the food trucks had, a good example of the way some members of our city council want to micromanage businesses who want to come to Haltom City," added Sturgeon.
"I have never understood why this city wants to 'protect' its citizens from food trucks. I should be the first to want to limit them because I own the only place they are allowed, but I believe the citizens of Haltom City want more choices, and I love competition, so that all boats can float higher," said Sturgeon. "If the council writes a good food truck ordinance, I hope more trucks here will eventually lead to more restaurants and more choices," added Sturgeon.
"Our fear is that they will limit the trucks, basically not really allowing them to come in," said HUBA Executive Director Drew Weakley. Surrounding cities have allowed food trucks for many years without burdensome restrictions, added Weakley.
"Haltom will be one of the last to allow them in, and we hope that they will be able to come if they meet a few simple common-sense requirements," said Weakley.
To let the members of Haltom City Council know that you want food trucks in the city with minimal restrictions, send them a message using the city's contact form: Haltom City Council - Contact Form (wufoo.com).
Follow HUBA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Haltom-United-Business-Alliance-HUBA. To be added to HUBA's email list to keep up on the new ordinance or to share ways that Haltom City could be made more business friendly, contact Drew Weakley at [email protected] or (682) 310-0591.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City's business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurture small business growth, including automotive businesses, and bring more restaurants including breweries and a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City's facilities and infrastructure. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Drew Weakley at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group's Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city's center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses, but they can only do as directed by the Haltom City Council.
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