Cabrera-Caudillo Apolinar flips tortillas in his food truck in New Carlisle Wednesday. New Carlisle changes its rules for food trucks, allowing them to stay open year round. Bill Lackey/Staff

New Carlisle OKs year-round food trucks, other businesses

Also, the city cut in half a business fee that was charged when an entrepreneur opened a business in the city or changed what the business sold or offered.

The changes are a result of a new “conservative council”, New Carlisle Mayor Ethan Reynolds said.

“We now have a majority of council that believes in less government and fewer fees,” he said.

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The city council voted unanimously to approve the changes last week. Previously, permits were issued on an eight-month basis to outdoor businesses and a vendor wasn’t allowed to open for four months out of a year. Now, a business owner can make his or her own decision, Reynolds said.

“If someone wants to buy from a food truck in December and the business owner wants to open up I believe we shouldn’t stop them,” Reynolds said.

New Carlisle food truck operator Apolinar Cabrera-Caudillo said he will think about opening year around when he is allowed.

“Maybe someday I will open longer,” he said.

Currently, he goes on vacation during the winter months. He said he likes to visit family.

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Reynolds introduced the legislation when he was approached by a friend who asked about a permit, he said. His friend didn’t understand why the city would stop a business person from opening if he or she wanted to.

Reynolds agreed.

“These food trucks now don’t have to worry about shutting down in New Carlisle and going somewhere else,” Reynolds said. “I think it’s all about individual liberty here.”

During the meeting where the legislation was passed, New Carlisle City Manager Randy Bridge said the food trucks and outdoor businesses are responsible for paying taxes to the city. There was some confusion by council whether the mobile businesses only pay a one time fee or if they are taxed like a brick-and-motor establishment.

“I’m all for it,” New Carlisle City Councilman Aaron Leighty said of the changes.

Preventing a business owner from opening up year around is wrong, Reynolds said.

“It goes to show you even the smallest locality some still believe in big government,” he said. “I don’t like big government.”

That’s one of the reasons Reynolds asked the city council to also eliminate the business fee, he said. After discussing with the city manager, it was agreed that the $50 business fee should be reduced to $25.

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Bridge said the city does have a number of responsibilities to complete once a new business opens and the fee helps offset some of those costs. For instance, the city’s fire department will inspect new businesses for safety.

“There is work done on behalf of the city to facilitate that $50 fee,” Bridge said.

The moves are an indication that the city is working to eliminate regulation, Reynolds said.

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