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Food Truck Owner Talks City Pilot Program

Left to right top, Ellen Shadle, city principal planner; and Jade Rivera, food truck owner; left to right bottom, Melissa Paterniti, city resident; and Crystal Surdyk, city development director; discuss Jamestown’s food truck pilot program during an online public feedback session March 18. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The lowering of fees and restrictions to operate a food truck in Jamestown has made at least one owner appreciate the city’s pilot program.

On March 18, city officials hosted an online food truck public feedback session, with Jade Rivera, food truck owner, discussing the city’s three-year pilot program that was started last year.

Rivera said the new permit fee schedule is an improvement for food truck owners because it’s less expensive than the previous fee of $500. The pilot program fee schedule is $150 for a yearly permit for Jamestown-based business owners, $300 if the business is not based in Jamestown and $100 for a one-day permit.

Rivera said food truck owners are required to pay $150-$200 a year for the health permit from Chautauqua County, so the lower fee to operate in the city is appreciated. She also said, prior to the pilot program, if a food truck owner wanted to operate in a city park it would cost $250 for one day.

“The pilot program is allowing (food trucks) to go to the parks,” she said.

Rivera said she doesn’t plan to operate downtown where brick and mortar restaurants are already doing business. She has also heard the same sentiment from other food truck owners.

“I don’t know anyone who wants to compete with the businesses down there,” she said.

Rivera said she hopes to start her food truck operation this year May 1 and wants to focus on areas where youth sport practices are held.

“I’m very happy with the program,” she said. “Coming to Jamestown has been a huge step. Just not for me, but for (every food truck owner.)”

Crystal Surdyk, city development director, said she hasn’t received any applications from food truck owners this year yet. However, she has spoken to five to six about the city’s application. She also said this is a pilot program, so there might be ongoing changes.

“Please be patient with us,” she said. “We want to make sure this works for everybody.”

Ellen Shadle, city principal planner, said the city is planning three food truck rodeos to be held between April and October. She said the time, date and location hasn’t been determined yet.

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