CREEDE- The Creede Board of Trustees held a brief conversation during their last meeting June 2 about whether or not to implement an ordinance to regulate food vendors coming to town for larger events like the Fourth of July. The discussion was brought to the board several months ago, but the board opted to table the discussion until a later time. City Manager Louis Fineberg opened the discussion and asked the board for feedback.
Fineberg also provided the board with an ordinance that was implemented in another community for their review. The ordinance was used as an example of what Creede’s ordinance would look like if the board opted to approve one. The document highlighted the need for an ordinance to ensure safe and healthy practices as well as policy to help regulate temporary food vendors.
“What you have in your packet is a sample ordinance for itinerant food vendors, which is food vendors that are here for a short period of time. We discussed this a while back and the board at that time was not interested in the idea of regulating it. There are some vendors that show up in town that go unregulated and if the board is fine with that then we can continue doing it the way we have always done. Right now, there is no mechanism in place or even mentioned in the town’s code for food trucks or other itinerant businesses that come and go during the summer,” said Fineberg.
Fineberg continued stating, “The sample ordinance from a different town about how they handle it. I wanted to get some feedback from the board on whether or not you would be agreeable to putting something like this in place.”
The discussion opened with a comment from Mayor Jeffery Larson who stated that if the board or town staff were to talk to the restaurant owners in town, they would be for having some type of regulation ordinance in place. “Restaurant owners get very upset, their taxes have gone up, up in Creede. The expenses of having employees and minimum wage increases are high. Then we get vendors in town for the summer and it knocks their business down.”
Other board members mentioned that at one time the town had something in place to ensure food vendors were licensed and were up to health standards. The board also discussed a local restaurant that resides in a permanent tiny home and what policies and regulations that were put in place in order for that business to meet code requirements.
The restaurant owner was in attendance for the meeting and confirmed that she paid property taxes, city, water and sewer as well as other fees that are required of any business establishment in Creede. Mayor Larson clarified that the discussion should only pertain to the vendors that come for two to three days for special events and that the regulations would not apply to other restaurants in Creede.
“I feel the locals should be protected from the vendors coming in for one to two days and leave with all the money. We should let the locals have those sales,” stated Larson. Larson continued by suggesting that food vendors should be banned.
“I think that every situation is going to be unique and we cannot just ban vendors from coming,” stated trustee Teresa Wall.
By the end of the conversation, the board opted to table the discussion for further review. The board directed Fineberg to research the issue further and to bring back some more information at the work session scheduled later this month.