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Issues brewing with new food truck regulations

Jim O'Higgins Jim O'Higgins
Arthur Young Arthur Young
Matt Davis Matt Davis
Mayor Greg Fischer Mayor Greg Fischer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You see them all over town, but some popular food trucks said they have to hit the brakes and close up shop. The reason is new regulations put in place by the city. However, the city says the regulations are meant to help the small businesses.

During the lunch and dinner hours, it's not uncommon to see food trucks parked on the streets here in Louisville, but not Thursday. Many of the popular trucks in town have canceled their stops because they are not in compliance with those new regulations and they aren't sure if they'll spend the money to do so.

You can taste a little piece of Texas right near a gas station in Jeffersonville at Holy Smoke, Jim O'Higgins' food truck.

"If you eat here you'll be back in Jeffersonville two or three days a week when he's here," said Arthur Young, a loyal customer.

The food truck is the type of business Louisville Metro Government says they want in town.

"Food trucks offer a lot of variety, a lot of life to the streets," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

The city said they have relaxed regulations to promote the small businesses, but most food truck owners say the only good thing about the new regulations is they don't have to pay a permit fee every time they park. O'Higgins said because he has had so many issues working in Louisville he now stays out of the city.

Matt Davis said he had to park his Lil Cheezer's truck because he's now incompliant.

"I hate canceling jobs," said Davis. "I give people the word I'm going to be there I have regular fans they show up."

Davis said he thought the new regulations would help, but after learning about all the new things he has to purchase for his truck employees, like criminal background checks and vendor ID's, he doesn't know when he can afford to get the truck moving.

"I thought they were going to make it simple to operate our concept and it just seems like it's gotten harder."

Davis said he doesn't have a problem staying up to code. During four inspections in a six month period, his score was never lower than 94. But now Davis feels like he has to follow the same rules as a restaurant, plus more. As for trying to fight it, Davis said he's tired.

"I've been in the mayor's office a few times," said Davis. "I talked to these people inside the office."

The mayor said if Davis isn't happy, he wants to work with him, O'Higgins and all the others to invite more food trucks in town.

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