A food truck will be part of the Harbor Springs landscape this summer during Harbor Springs Farmers Market days after City Council approved an application in a 3-2 vote during Monday, June 16th's City Council meeting.
The request-- put in by Etta's Food Truck-- came after Council's recent approval of a six month "trial run" for portable food vendors to apply for special events in Harbor Springs. The food truck will set up shop on the northeast corner of upper Zorn Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays during farm market hours.
The food truck is not, however, associated with the market itself.
Listening to a recording of the Monday, June 16 meeting, there was little discussion before the application was put to a vote, however, it was clear council members were not all in agreement.
"I think it's a good thing on a trial basis," said council member Jeff James. "If we are trying to test how this works, why not approve this?"
Mayor Al Dika said that while he can see a portable food vendor such as Etta's being an asset on a day like the Fourth of July, when lines are "out the door" for other restaurants, he said he is not comfortable with a food truck being part of two of the busiest mornings downtown all summer.
"When we brought the market downtown, it was-- at least in part-- to bring people into town, to use existing facilities and restaurants, and it has done that very well," Dika said. "The farmers market has brought a vitality to downtown that didn't exist before. The people who own businesses in town, the people who pay mortgages and property taxes and get hit up by every fundraiser and contribute to all of them, many of them are year round businesses. That's difficult. They aren't making money in the off season, but they stay open for us. To me, it steps on toes, to do this."
Dika asked if there was a motion for the application, and James moved to approve it, again saying his vote was, "because of what we did two weeks ago allowing a six month trial."
Dika and Council member Pringle Pfeifer voted no, while Council members Matt Bugera, John Cupps, and Jeff James voted yes.
In other City Council news, the Harbor Dog food cart (located near the Harbor Springs Municipal Marina) was again approved for the summer, with the addition of a gelato machine. New playground equipment for Kiwanis Park was also approved, as was a compensation increase for the city manager and city clerk, and bids for the Ingalls Street water and sewer projects.