Farmington parks could open to food trucks

Noel Lyn Smith
InfiniteBBQ co-owner Melissa Pearce on Monday talks about a proposed city ordinance while working inside her food truck at the Mesa Shopping Center in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — The City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation Tuesday about establishing an application and permit process for mobile food vendors to operate in city parks.

A current city ordinance requires operators of food, catering or vending trucks to obtain prior approval from the parks and recreation department before conducting business in a city park, city parking lot at a park or other recreational facility.

The presentation to the council would outline the reasons for establishing standardized guidelines and processes for food trucks to use city parks and recreational facilities as vending locations.

Under the proposal, vendors would have to apply for a "commercial park use permit" from the city, which would allow them to operate in a specific location while the park remains open for public usage.

InfiniteBBQ is pictured on Nov. 16 at the Mesa Shopping Center off Butler Avenue and East Ute Street in Farmington.

Vendors would also pay a set fee to conduct business during activities such as outdoor concerts, public classes or special events.

The proposal also outlines topics such as the hours when vendors could operate and deadlines for permit applications.

Cory Styron, the city's parks, recreation and cultural affairs department director, said the proposal would enhance the existing law and provide another outlet for these types of business to operate.

Nationwide, food trucks continue to be a popular consumer choice and are they are starting to establish a presence in Farmington.

"We're starting to see some of those vendors now on private lots," Styron said.

InfiniteBBQ has been operating since June in the Mesa Shopping Center, at the corner of Butler Avenue and Ute Street.

"We make our own product. We make our own barbecue sauce, marinate, dry rub," she said.

InfiniteBBQ co-owner Melissa Pearce works on Nov.16 inside her food truck in Farmington.

Owner Melissa Pearce was tidying the food truck after lunch service on Monday.

Among the food Pearce and her husband, David, sell are barbecue brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, and chicken.

“I think it’s great. It's more advertisement for what we do. It's local, small business,” Pearce said after hearing about the proposal.

Also during the work session, the council is scheduled to set a regular municipal election for March 1.

The election would be held to select city councilors for District 1 and District 2, according to the proposed council resolution.

The council is also scheduled to approve a $10 mileage stipend for election workers who attend election training and a $20 stipend for alternate workers who stand-by on Election Day.

Council members are also being asked to approve a $700,000 appropriation from the state legislature. The funding would be used to purchase land for and to plan, design and construct storm drainage improvements, a storm water detention pond and infrastructure near Villa View Drive.

The work session is at 9 a.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 800 Municipal Drive.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-546-4636.