Bloomfield council places hold on licensing food trucks

The council action would not impact "event" food trucks

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Alexis Ashini prepares burritos for a customer at the Habanero Grill food truck in Bloomfield on Aug. 23. The City of Bloomfield is not issuing new licensees for food trucks as it develops and implements new regulations.
  • The council voted on Aug. 12 to put a moratorium on issuing new licenses for food trucks pending review and development of permitting procedures, licensing and policies.
  • Mayor Cynthia Atencio said previous council members have talked about it in the past but those plans never came to fruition.
  • Atencio told the crowd the city would form a committee of stakeholders to help develop and implement the new regulations for food trucks.

BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield City Council voted to put a hold on issuing new licenses for food trucks after discovering the municipality did not have procedures for licensing and permitting mobile food vendors.

The council voted on Aug. 12 to put a moratorium on issuing new licenses for food trucks pending review and development of permitting procedures, licensing and policies.

City Councilor Ken Hare told the crowd at Bloomfield City Hall that a food truck recently set up shop on a lot in the city and the city could not find any regulations, licensing or permitting procedures to govern the operation of the food trucks.

Mayor Cynthia Atencio said previous council members have talked about it in the past but those plans never came to fruition.

The Bloomfield location of the Habanero Grill is pictured along U.S. Highway 550 on Aug. 23. The City of Bloomfield is not issuing new licensees for food trucks as it develops and implements new regulations.

This process would not affect "event" food trucks, which come into Bloomfield for an event and leave afterward.

The pause on licensing could affect food trucks like La Botana and the Bloomfield location of Habanero Grill, food trucks which are operated on a more permanent basis.

Attempts to contact the owners of the Habanero Grill were not successful on Aug. 23. The manager of the La Botana food truck was not available on the afternoon of Aug. 23.

"If we don't set up guidelines, we're going to have more and more food trucks come in and right now, we have no way to regulate them," Hare said during the meeting.

Hare cited other businesses which operate in the City of Bloomfield that must adhere regulations including plumbing, electricity and landscaping and obtain occupancy permits.

He added food trucks should meet similar requirements to those imposed on other regulated businesses in town.

The City of Farmington has ordinances addressing the license and compliance of food trucks.

The City of Aztec also has license and business regulations for food trucks.

The operation of food trucks falls under San Juan County Ordinance 95 regarding business registration, according to San Juan County Spokesperson Devin Neely.

Atencio told the crowd the city would form a committee of stakeholders to help develop and implement new regulations for food trucks.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e