TYLER - The debate over food trucks in Tyler continues as the Northeast Texas Health District vows to protect the public. Some say the regulations are too strict.
Karla Griffith hopes to open a snowball truck but said the costs associated with meeting health standards are too high.
“After you spend about $20,000 just to enter into the food truck business or the snowball business if you bought into a new trailer or even a used one it is really discouraging,” Griffith said.
For example, food truck fans say Tyler currently goes beyond normal state standards and also requires food trucks to comply with brick and mortar restaurant codes. NETHD Tyler also requires that vendors build food trucks that specifically cater to a unique set of requirements.
In addition, Tyler is also the only city that requires food trucks to have a covered pathway from the truck’s parking space in the parking lot to the restaurant where it is parked overnight.
Carlo D'Angelo is the owner of Tyler Food Truck. The sign at the park reads ‘Coming Soon'-- the only problem? There are no food trucks running in the city just yet.
"I'm in there every day hustling and fighting for this but I can't do this alone,” D'Angelo said. “I’ve met people that want to open food trucks, but when I direct them to the health department and they see what's required here and they compared to everywhere else… a natural conclusion is… 'I’ll go to Jacksonville and open a food truck.'"
There were some small victories at Wednesday's meeting with NETHD. Health officials agreed to do away with GPS monitoring in trucks -- a high cost for truck operators.
George Roberts, CEO of NETHD tells CBS 19 the committee is open to feedback and change.
“Obviously our job is to listen to our community and we want to make appropriate changes to our ordinance that will make sense… not only for people that want to get into that business but also to the safety and health of our community,” Roberts said.
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