by VERONICA GORDON
Food trucks are getting the green light to set up in Kyle city parks. Effective Oct. 1, the city Parks and Recreation Department is accepting applications for a park permit that will allow a mobile food vendor to sell everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner.
The permit is $50 per month and allows vendors with health department permits to set up during normal park hours.
“We are looking to expand food service in the parks,” said Kerry Urbanowicz, parks and recreation director. “We decided to do this because we have so many sports leagues that use the parks, from adult kickball to baseball and flag football, and they all get hungry. We wanted to make it more convenient for them. That’s what really got us thinking about this.”
Urbanowicz also said that during the city’s budget process, the city council gave the parks and recreation department permission to begin offering the permits.
“I don’t know of any other city parks that are doing this,” said Urbanowicz. “We’re trying to be innovative and cutting-edge. Our goal is to have one big project every year and this year we chose this one.”
Urbanowicz said most mobile food vendors must find private property to set up their business. The park permit allows vendors to set up at certain parks in town.
“That includes Gregg-Clarke Park, Steeplechase Park and Lake Kyle,” he said.
According to the city of Kyle website there were approximately 81,444 visitors and guests at the city’s three main parks last year
The city also wants food truck owners to know the potential for business is great.
“They all eat and drink! Thousands of kickball and flag football players and fans in the leagues. Hundreds attend movies in the park. Tens of thousands go to the pool. Hundreds play disc golf. Thousands go fishing and hiking. Why not be where the action is?”
Vendors can set up for 16 hours a day (7 a.m.-11 p.m.), seven days a week, 365 days a year for about 10 cents an hour.
The monthly permit is different than the daily “ice cream truck” permit that sells for $15 per hour, Urbanowicz said.
“We still offer the daily permit for vendors who sell concessions such as ice cream or even a benefit barbecue,” he explained. “This permit allows the vendor to stay all day for 30 days. Even if they purchase the permit on Sept. 28 it’s good for 30 days.”
No one has applied for the monthly permit yet, he said, but the city is hoping for a good response once the word gets out.
“Maybe somebody in the Kyle area or Hays County area will want to come in and apply,” he said. “The parks are pretty big, we just need to find that customer base. Kyle workers can even have lunch in the parks. I think it’ll be pretty cool.”
Owners wanting a permit to operate in one of the parks can contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (512) 262-3939 or www.cityofkyle.com/recreation/food-trucks-owners.
Customers can also find out where a certain food vendor will be by checking the city’s website.
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