Another food truck in Petrolia’s Bridgeview Park still a possibility

Dips Ice Cream tested the Petrolia market in 2020. It had a spot at the Victoria Hall parking lot. Council has approved the use of another food truck at Bridgeview Park

Heather Wright/The Independent

It appears another food truck could still set up shop in Bridgeview Park in the future.
In March, Petrolia council tabled a new food truck bylaw with some councillors saying the timing was wrong since restaurants are struggling through the pandemic.
But Monday, council got a better idea of what the proposed bylaw would do. Dave Menzies, director of community services, told council the bylaw would allow up to four food trucks – two on each side of the park – but not immediately. Menzies is suggesting council allow two food trucks on the south side for the time being.
One of those licenses has already been contracted.
Menzies says, over time, if council thought it was appropriate, it could offer two contracts on the north side of Bridgeview Park.
The proposed bylaw also sets a minimum bid for the license of $5,000.
Menzies says over the years, there has not been a big demand for the licenses on municipal property. Only one food truck applied for the last license. Council placed a cost for that at $2,500 at the time.
“I think adding another one or a different type of truck would be smart. When you see the amount of fry trucks at the Bluewater Bridge and friends, people it draws, that’s going to bring even more people (to Bridgeview Park),” says Councillor Joel Field. “I think having them out of the downtown is positive.”
Menzies says the proposed bylaw would prohibit downtown food trucks. He says right now it is possible for operators to work with local business and use their parking lots for a location although they need approval through the planning process.
Some councillors question whether anyone would bid $5,000 to operate a food truck in a municipal park. Councillor Wade Deighton says some of the people on the Community Services Committee wanted the fee even higher.
He says with the municipality now paying hydro and water for the existing food truck, the fees needed to be restructured “to bring it up to a more acceptable level.”
One local food truck operator, Bill Wellington who operates Dips, told council in March the $5,000 fee would be too much and he wouldn’t bid for it.
Deighton says that’s okay. “If they don’t like it, they don’t apply for it.”
Councillor Marty Souch remains the only one opposed to the proposed bylaw.
“The problem that I had is, we’re in tough times now and I’ve heard some of the stories of restaurants trying to survive. I’m not against it. I’m against the time, I think now is not a good time to do it.”
Council will take another look at the proposed bylaw next meeting April 26 and could pass it at that time.