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Food trucks to take over Civic Park
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Food trucks to take over Civic Park

Hanford Council talks food truck ordinance, other business at meeting

In this Sentinel file photo, people stand in line for this food truck during the Taco Truck Throwdown in downtown Hanford.

HANFORD — With a food truck ordinance in place, the city of Hanford is now looking to help local vendors make the most of the ordinance by introducing a food truck takeover at Civic Park.

On Wednesday, the Hanford Chamber of Commerce held its second monthly Business Roundtable with Mayor Francisco Ramirez.

Ramirez and Chamber CEO Amory Marple were joined by City Manager Mario Cifuentez, Recreation Supervisor Armando da Silva, Parks and Community Services Director Brad Albert, Fire Chief Steve Pendergrass and Fire Marshal Christy Whittington to talk all about food trucks.

After pushing for a food truck ordinance for years, the Hanford City Council finally approved and adopted a mobile food vendor ordinance in October.

In an effort to kick-off implementation of the ordinance, da Silva announced a food truck takeover in Civic Park beginning in April.

He said there will be a weekly food truck lunch time every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October, as well as a food truck night on the first Saturday of each month until September. The monthly food truck night will also feature a beer and wine garden, live entertainment and games.

The goal of the food truck takeovers is to get people downtown to enjoy the park, shop at local businesses and generally just have a good time, da Silva said.

“We want to create family-friendly events downtown,” Albert added.

While the department will prepare for COVID-19 precautions, Albert said he’s hopeful restrictions will be lessened by the time the events come around.

“I just think the timing couldn’t be better,” he said. “People are anxious to get outside.”

While some residents may have thought the implementation of an ordinance would cause an immediate change and food trucks would be popping up everywhere, Cifuentez said there is still a process in place that takes time.

That process includes defining the type of vendor, where it will be located and how long it will stay at a site. Depending on the situation, vendors must acquire certain permits from the state, county and city (e.g. sellers permit, food vending permit, mobile vending permit, mobile food vendors permit, temporary use permit or conditional use permit), as well as a business license from the city and the required inspection from the fire department.

In addition to the other required permits, food vendors that wish to participate in the food truck takeover events must also get an event permit through the Parks and Community Services Department.

“It’s kind of a process, but once [the vendors are] in I think it’s going to be rewarding not only for them but for the residents in Hanford,” da Silva said, adding he’d already received interest in the events from several vendors.

To garner even more interest, da Silva said the city is also thinking of doing a three month pilot program where fees are waived to participate in the events.

“We’re excited,” he said. “We’re going to have a bunch of different food trucks.”

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