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Mobile food units would not need peddler's license per Forest City ordinance

Mobile food units would not need peddler's license per Forest City ordinance

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On June 7, the Forest City council passed the first reading of a revised ordinance that adds a peddler’s license exemption for mobile food units, including food trucks and pushcarts, being operated in the city.

As proposed, this ordinance would amend chapter 122.18 of city code pertaining to peddlers, vendors, transient merchants, and solicitors by adding an additional license exemption in a new subsection. This would exclude mobile food units from needing a peddler’s license from the city while doing business on public or private property, with the property owner’s permission.

At this time, the ordinance also requires mobile food units to provide to the city a copy of any (food) licensure issued pursuant to Chapter 137F of the Iowa code, along with written permission from the landowner where the unit will park plus a schedule of the date and time during which sales will be made.

This information, or any changes to it, shall be provided to the city at least one business day prior to sales commencing. The additional provisions will not apply if the mobile food unit operator has been hired, invited, or retained by an organization sponsoring an event.

City Attorney Steve Bakke said that after the last council meeting, and with the safety committee having reviewed and discussed the matter, the revised ordinance eliminates mobile food units from the peddler’s ordinance because its purpose is to protect against things like fraud and intrusion. Bakke said that a food truck or cart isn’t going to be knocking on doors, so it isn’t considered germane to that ordinance.

In other business:

• The council approved the third and final reading of an ordinance establishing a 3 percent increase in municipal electric rates, effective June 16. Residential customers will see a monthly electric usage rate of 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 10.6 cents.

• The council approved the second reading of an ordinance that would increase sewer rates effective July 16 in anticipation of large-scale improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The ordinance calls for a base customer charge of $5, a rate of $7.50 per $1,000 gallons of water used, and a $7 per month capital equipment reserve charge.

• Council members approved a resolution renewing the following board and commission terms: Tom Brakke to the airport commission for a term expiring Jan. 1, 2027, Dick Trimble to airport zoning for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2025, Brian Current to the board of adjustment for a term expiring July 1, 2026, and Charles Tweeten to the historic preservation commission for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2023.

• The council approved the $25,120 purchase of a 2022 F-Series truck for the parks department.

• Council members approved Paddler's Tap street closure request for events on Fridays and Saturdays between 4-10 p.m. from June 11 to August 28. Upon request by council members, Jay Steffensen said Paddler's Tap personnel will purchase safety cones and maintain them for the street closures.

• Electric department supervisor Duane Kuhn received council approval for the promotion of Chad Bina to line foreman, effective on June 24. He will replace Kevin Swanson who is retiring. Kuhn said no additional hire is required because the pending retirement was anticipated in advance and the department is fully staffed.

Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at


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