Madison County may reduce food truck license fees

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County may consider lowering its food truck permit fees.

The Health Department Committee voted Friday 4-1 to reduce the fee from $375 to $175.

Currently there are 18 licensed “mobile establishments” in the county, according to Madison County Director of Public Health Toni Corona. The health department charges fees for food permit licenses based on three categories of food establishments, she said.

“All our fees are used to offset the food sanitation program,” she said.

Mobile food trucks are considered Category 1 or 2 establishments, and are inspected the same as a “brick and mortar” restaurant and eateries, Corona said.

Category 1 and 1a facilities receive three inspections per year, or two inspections per year if one of the following conditions is met:

• A certified food service manager must be present at all times the facility is in operation; or

• Employees involved in food operations must receive HACCP training exercise, in-service training in another food service sanitation area or attend an educational conference on food safety or sanitation.

Category 2 and 2a facilities receive one inspection per year.

Corona said she has compared Madison County’s food truck fees to adjacent counties. St. Clair County charges $78 to $100 six months. Jersey County charges $100. Both St Louis and St Charles counties charge $150. And Sangamon County charges $591.

She said the $200 cost of a plan review fee would remain the same. The cost for plan review is similar to that in other counties, she said.

In 2018, Madison County established the operation of food trucks and permit fees.

At a May Madison County Health Department committee meeting, Alton city officials and the owners of Flock, the new food truck park in Alton, asked the county to consider reducing the permit fee to attract more food trucks.

County Board member Mike Babcock, R-Bethalto, chairs the health department committee. He said he believed lowering the fee would foster economic activity for the county.

The lone committee voted against lowering the fee was cast by County Board member Terry Eaker, R-Bethalto. He said he didn’t believe food trucks should pay less than established restaurants in the same categories.

The Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss the fee change at its 4 pm meeting on June 9. The full county board is scheduled to discuss the change at its 5 pm meeting on June 15.

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