Village of Massena drafts changes to local law governing mobile food vendors and food trucks

October 23 – MASSENA – Administrators for the village of Massena will collect public comment at 5:30 p.m. on November 15 on state-mandated changes to local law governing mobile food vendors and food trucks.

The state is enacting new regulations for food preparation vehicles, and municipalities have until Dec. 30 to come up with local language addressing inspections and required documents.

“For some reason, we’re seeing an explosion of these things everywhere,” code enforcement officer Aaron T. Hardy told administrators.

Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said the local law review was not something the village decided to do on its own.

“It was initiated by state requirements,” he said.

“It’s kind of the state that’s going to force our hand and add it to our code. It’s there and we have to do it,” Hardy said.

He said the village administrator, Monique N. Chatland, found a way “to slip it into the codebook so it would make sense.”

“I think she’s done a really good job finding a location. It looks pretty tidy. I think it’s pretty basic,” he said.

Mr. Hardy said it was a work in progress.

“It’s by no means perfect at the state level. There were a few issues and they had to clear up some things,” he said. “We can kind of play with it. If we have to add more, we can add more down the road.”

One of the requirements is the addition of an authorization process. Food preparation vehicles will need to be licensed to operate anywhere in the state.

Under the proposed local law, a mobile food vendor is defined as “any person, principal or agent, who, from any fixed location, using a temporary or mobile structure, or motor vehicle of whatsoever, sells or barters, offers for sale or barter to the public, or exposes for sale any food products, including but not limited to hot dog sales, snow cone sales or ice cream sales, funnel cake or fried dough sales, fruit and vegetable sales and other similar sales.”

Any mobile food vendor in the village must have a license issued by the village. They will be required to provide the requested date, hours of operation and proposed location of the vehicle; proof of the owner’s consent if it is private land; necessary certifications and approvals from the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department; and any other information required by the village council. The village council will be the licensing authority.

A license fee of $250 per year or $25 per day will be levied on each mobile food vendor, stall, booth, wagon, car “or other device so erected or used”.