Mobile vendors may have access to an area in Thompson Park to sell food on Wednesdays and Sundays in Ithaca if a new proposal passes.
Jes Seaver, executive director of Ithaca Festival, proposed a policy March 11 to the city’s Board of Public Works that would give vendors the ability to participate in a “food truck roundup” in Thompson Park. The policy has continued to be discussed at subsequent meetings, including the Board of Public Works’ meeting Monday night.
Seaver said there isn’t currently a food truck policy in Ithaca. She said the proposed policy would help enhance the Ithaca community and add to the growing food culture in the area.
“All the different aspects of food production will add up cumulatively to enhance the food culture in Ithaca and Finger Lakes Region,” Seaver said.
Kathy Gehring from Ithaca’s Board of Public Works said she had helped Seaver on the proposal. If passed, Gehring said, the proposal will receive positive feedback. One potential drawback, she said, is that when food trucks are set up, the tree line on the side of the park may get trampled.
J.P. Vico, owner of Circus truck, said the roundup proposal is a great idea. However, Vico said there should be rules established for vendors to get a yearly permit.
“Yes the roundup is a great thing, but at the same time, I stress the importance for vendors having the right to vend here no matter what kind of vending it is,” Vico said. “I really feel that vending brings a lot to a community that gives people a chance, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to do something, to actually do something.”
Vico, who currently parks on the corner of Seneca and state Route 13, said there is a chance he will be forced to move due to a potential new building proposal. He said if this happens and there is no policy for a yearly permit, then he would have to find another private property on which to operate.
“It will be interesting to see what happens in Ithaca this year,” Vico said.