Grand Rapids, MI: City Hears Downtown Food Trucks Debate

Rick DeVos speaks in favor of downtown food trucks at a City Commission meeting. (June 12, 2012)

By STAFF | WOODtv.com

Rick DeVos speaks in favor of downtown food trucks at a City Commission meeting. (June 12, 2012)

Food trucks want to be able to operate downtown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – People on both sides of the debate on whether to allow food trucks in downtown Grand Rapids spoke at the Tuesday night city commission meeting.

Food trucks are not currently allowed to sell food downtown. Their owners want to be able to set up shop during the summer months — especially during events like ArtPrize.

But traditional restaurant owners said they don’t want the trucks operating in the city because they don’t have to pay the same taxes.

“We brick-and-mortar restaurants pay hefty rent, property taxes, clean up fees for downtown, which mobile vendors don’t have any of,” said Patty Konwinski, co-owner of The Dog Pit.

But one prominent West Michigan entrepreneur and philanthropist disagreed.

“I’m a real big believer in lots of people trying lots of different things, experimenting. Food trucks and mobile venders really epitomize that,” said Rick DeVos.

The Tuesday night meeting offered only a chance for people to share their opinion. No decision was made on the issue.

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/grand_rapids/GR-hears-downtown-food-trucks-debate