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Food Vendors on the Move Again

Published 08/27/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 08/27/2014 09:30 AM

By Jack Kramer
The Source

For the third time in several weeks, Madison food vendors have been moved to a new location.

The Board of Selectmen, by a 3-to-1 vote Monday night, approved moving the vendors "if they wish'' to the north side of School Street, a site the selectmen believe will bring the vendors more visibility.

There is only one vendor, Taqueria Cinco, who still remained at the Academy Street site. The other vendor who originally made the move from the south side of School Street, Taco Pacifico, ceased operations recently.

Taqueria Cinco and Taco Pacifico owners had repeatedly stated that business had suffered since the move to Academy Street from School Street.

At Monday night's selectmen meeting, selectmen approved a motion by First Selectman Fillmore McPherson to allow the vendors to operate on the north side of School Street for two weeks, starting Tuesday,
Aug. 26, to see if business picks up.

Selectmen said that Taqueria Cinco, Taco Pacifico, and vendors who operate a cupcake truck and a coffee truck, and who have all paid the newly instituted permit fee, are welcome to try the new School Street location.

Additionally, selectmen said, a sign will be put up on the Boston Post Road directing people to the food trucks' location.

After the two-week period is over, the selectmen, at their next meeting, will re-visit the issue, McPherson said.

Only Selectan Diane L. Stadterman voted against the two-week move. She said she did so because she thinks it will "confuse'' customers because the vendors have been repeatedly moved.

In addition to the move, which McPherson described as an "experiment,'' the selectmen also said they will be moving forward with a plan to use the town's website to ask residents, in a survey, several questions about whether they are in favor of the trucks and where they think the food vendors should be located in Madison.

The second, Academy Street, spot for the trucks was approved in June by the Board of Selectmen as part of regulations that the selectmen have been wrangling with for months.

Though supporters of the food trucks see the new regulations as a hassle to the vendors, selectmen insist they made a point to address concerns of those who believe the trucks damage the image of town, while still allowing the vendors to operate.

At Monday night's selectmen meeting, not just officials, but residents spoke about the controversial issue.

Sandy Kensler said she was in favor of the town doing everything it can to help the food trucks operate.

"It is a place for people to work and it helps Madison become a more inclusive town,'' said Kensler.

Town News

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