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Erwin BMA sets food truck rules, hears Fishery Park plan update

Barge Design Solutions project manager Jennifer Salyer describes proposals for a masterplan to update Fishery Park to Town of Erwin officials. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

Erwin officials have put in place regulations to govern food trucks wishing to do business in the town.

The Town of Erwin Mobile Food Vehicle Ordinance calls for any mobile food vehicles to receive an issuance of a license from the city recorder to temporarily park upon a public street or other public and private property and engage in service.

According to the ordinance, anyone serving food from a mobile vehicle would need to apply for a license to operate inside the city limits. The application must have all of the mobile food vehicle owner’s contact information as well as information about the specific vehicle that will be operating under the license.

The Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to accept the second and final approval of the ordinance following a motion made by Alderwoman Rachelle Hyder-Shurtz and a second made by Alderman Gary Chandler during a meeting held on Monday, March 9, at Town Hall.

The vote came after Mayor Doris Hensley opened the floor up to hear from the public. No one spoke about the ordinance, so Hensley closed the public hearing and called for the vote. “Hearing no support or opposition from the public, we will close the public hearing and take a vote,” Hensley said.

Among the other items listed in the ordinance, mobile food vehicle owners are responsible for cleanup of any spills, debris or garbage that is accrued from their services. Mobile food vehicle owners are prohibited from serving within 50 feet of any current brick and mortar restaurants inside the city limits during their normal business hours.

Any violation of the ordinance could result in a civil fine of $50 per day up to a total fine not to exceed $500 per day.

According to the Town of Erwin City Recorder Glenn Rosenoff, Monday’s unanimous vote makes the ordinance final.

“This was our second and final reading of the ordinance,” Rosenoff said.

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In other news, the BMA voted unanimously to accept the low bid of $269,700 made by Preston Construction to build pedestrian bridges at two locations in Erwin. One pedestrian bridge will be located at North Indian Creek and the other pedestrian bridge will be located at Rock Creek. The unanimous decision came following a motion made by Vice Mayor Mark Lafever and seconded by Hyder-Shurtz.

In a final order of business, Alderman Michael Baker suggested that the town consider adding more benches at the newly opened Bark Park.

“We were there over the weekend and there is only one bench at each section of the park,” Baker said. “Having a water fountain would be nice as well.”

The Erwin Bark Park is broken down into two sections, one section for dogs over 30 pounds and one for dogs under 30 pounds. According to Town of Erwin Communications Specialist Jamie Rice, there are plans for a water source for dogs in the park but not for humans. Currently, there is no water access for dogs and pet owners are advised to bring their own water.

Hensley approved of Baker’s idea and said the board should look into it.

“We can see what grants are out there for more seating and a water fountain and revisit this,” Hensley said.

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Prior to the BMA meeting, the officials met for a workshop with Barge Design Solutions project manager Jennifer Salyer to discuss options for a masterplan for Fishery Park.

In April, the BMA unanimously voted to approve an $18,450 proposal made by Barge Design Solutions, Inc. for the redesign of Fishery Park. At that time, Rosenoff said the funds would allow the company to complete a masterplan for Fishery Park, which will include up to three concepts to determine the best use for the park.

The BMA agreed on a concept that differs from the plan they agreed on back in September. At that time, the BMA chose a concept, which includes upgrades to existing bridges, wetlands, basketball court and tennis courts. The plan includes a large amphitheater that, according to Salyer, could be used for music, plays and a center for festivals.

This concept also calls for a new playground, volleyball court, picnic areas, piers for fishing, a bike pump track and an expanded pool area complete with cabanas and a pavilion.

During the March 9 workshop, the BMA voted unanimously to make a few minor changes to that plan.

“I have spoken with Jamie (Rice) and we would love to have festivals and music events out there,” Hyder-Shurtz said. “We would benefit from having a large open space included with this plan.”

Salyer said she would take the feedback and create a master plan. Salyer will return to the BMA with the new plan at a later date for the board’s consideration.

As of The Erwin Record’s deadline, no follow up meetings or workshops with Barge Design Solutions have been scheduled.