By Korie Marshall
Neither the permanent bylaw nor the sudden extension to the expired temporary bylaw have passed final reading at Valemount Council, but David Grant plans to reopen his food truck on 5th Ave this week – if it is not too cold.
Grant had gathered well over 200 signatures over a few days, but he did not bring his petition to Council last week, because he says there was no need. A last minute addition to the agenda was an extension to the temporary bylaw. First, second and third readings passed to extend the expired Temporary Street Vendor bylaw to May 31, 2014, but it still has to pass fourth and final reading at the next Council meeting. Grant plans to be up and running again before that though.
Greg Bruce, owner of the old Shop Easy building opposite the Learning Centre has allowed Grant to install a power box which should resolve the noise issue. The Village has received two complaints about the business recently, which Grant understood were about the noise from his generator. He hopes to be back in business this week, regardless of the bylaws not yet passing final reading, although the cold weather may delay him; he’s decided minus 10 degrees is his cut-off, because his product starts to freeze in the trays, and it is hard on his equipment.
Although he plans to be running this week, Grant notes the permanent bylaw is not finished, and he encourages anyone with comments or complaints to bring them forward. “This isn’t a bylaw for me, it’s for the community, and we all need to be a part of the discussion,” he says.
The permanent bylaw passed first reading at Council last week, and comments from the public were positive and supportive of Grant’s business, but he understands that others may have concerns.
The temporary bylaw would expire when the Village’s new permanent bylaw is passed if that happens before May 31. Grant says he understands it can take two months or longer, especially if Council wants input from the public, to pass the bylaw, but he has bills to pay, and cannot afford to stay shut down. He says many other businesses would have given up by this point, but he wants to keep at it. He has some ideas for the future that may involve a permanent storefront (his past offer to buy a restaurant in the Village was refused) but he needs to get some funds in the bank and keep the business going in order to consider those future ideas.
Mayor Andru McCracken said public support for Grant certainly couldn’t hurt, but he thought collaboration and cooperation is what really helped in this situation.
The Street Vendor bylaw is expected to go to second reading at the next Council meeting, Feb. 11. The bylaw and report to Council is available on the Village’s website, in the full agenda for the Jan. 28 meeting, normally available until the next full agenda is posted.