On Wednesday, Sept. 15, Rexburg City Council members gathered to discuss an ordinance related to the creation of what they called a mobile food court. The food court would consist of several food trucks gathered together in a permanent location. The council and residents also discussed other zoning ordinances, finances, the impact of Yellowstone tourism on the Rexburg area, and education.
Alan Parkinson, City Planning and Zoning Coordinator, presented Ordinance 1263, which proposed the new mobile food court. It would feature year-round vendors and would be privately funded. A location has not been decided, although several options were suggested.
The ordinance would provide both benefits and drawbacks for other street/sidewalk vendors in Rexburg. Under the ordinance, food trucks would have increased freedom to park at local parks and streets, such as Porter Park. However, local residents expressed concerns with an increased business license fee to offset impact fees paid by local businesses. The council tabled the ordinance to gather more feedback from local business owners.
“We can work this out, take all of the comments and try to figure out what’s the best,” said Mayor Jerry Merrill. “We’re not going to get it perfect … but I’d like to get as close as we can.”
Local food vendor owners are encouraged to send any concerns with Ordinance 1263 to the Rexburg City Council office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the joint City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the council transitioned to other items of business.
Christopher Mann, Chamber of Commerce CEO and Grant Manager for the Yellowstone Teton area, gave a report on the state of tourism in the Rexburg and Teton areas. Mann said that Idaho tourism is a $3.7 billion industry that saves every household in Idaho $740 a year and generates thousands of jobs. He emphasized the huge impact that Yellowstone tourism has on the Rexburg community.
“I know several people who live in Rexburg today because they traveled through on their way to Yellowstone park,” Mann said.
Councilmember Bryanna Johnson expressed gratitude for BYU-Idaho students and local residents who have a desire to pick up trash and do service in the community. She encouraged those interested to contact her or another council member.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at 35 N. First E. The meeting will also be streamed live and can be watched, along with past meetings, here.