After food truck vendors voiced their concerns over a price hike for permits, the City of Regina is taking another look at the cost.
Last August, the city increased the price by about 20 per cent to $1,680.
Food truck operators pointed out that after taxes, it was costing them around $1,800 just to get the opportunity to operate in areas like City Square Plaza.
At Monday’s city council meeting, administration is recommending the price increase remain intact but there are options to reduce it and reimburse those how have paid already.
Lindsay Sasseville, owner and operator of the Wok Box 2 Go food truck, said she’s happy council is looking at getting rid of the price increase but wishes food truck operators were involved in these type of conversations.
“It’s important, especially if they want to keep us in the community, to get our feedback,” Sasseville said. “Like include us in a decision that only affects us.”
Vendors have said that there was no communication with them that a price increase was on the way, something Sasseville would like to see changed.
“We do realize that the market changes all the time but it doesn’t need to change that much and it’s important to tell the people that is affects, especially for a business that’s seasonal.”
June Schultz, director of finance for the City of Regina, said council is looking at the fees again because of concerns raised by vendors about how it is affecting their business in areas such as the plaza.
The city will also request a reassessment of the permits and to come back with recommendations for the 2019 budget.
Sasseville said the $1,400 fee was still quite expensive when compared to larger cities.
“They’re having 20 trucks out in a day instead of one or two,” Sasseville said.
The assessment completed by the city shows that their flat-fee of $1,680 per year — which includes access to power and parking spots, — is cheaper than in Saskatoon where vendors are paying over $1,800.
Another recommendation Sasseville has is to have a permanent place in Victoria Park for trucks to sit when there’s events happening on the plaza. Sasseville pointed to how the city had to re-sod the area where the skating rink was and said they could pave the part and make it a place for them and others to set up shop.
With it already being near the end of June, she feels it’s too late for many food trucks to decide to get the permit, with possibly September being the end of food truck season.
She hopes the city would give a permit at a lower price to make up for the months people decided to skip.
Schultz said the city has handed out six permits so far, which is tied for the lowest amount since the program began in 2014.
If council chooses to reduce the price for a permit, it won’t take effect until July 30, which is the earliest date a bylaw change could be voted on.