EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County to consider lowering its food truck permit fees.

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The Health Department Committee discussed amending the county’s food sanitation ordinance on Friday. The committee voted 4-1 to reduce the fee from $375 to $175.

Director of Public Health Toni Corona said that currently there are 18 licensed mobile establishments in the county. She said that the health department charges fees for food permit licenses based on the categories of each food establishments, which is 1 through 3.

Mobile food trucks are considered Category 1 and Category 2 establishments and inspected the same as a “brick and mortar” restaurant and eateries.

Category 1 and 1a facilities receive three inspections per year, or two inspections per year if one of the following conditions is met:

  • A certified food service manager is present at all times the facility is in operation; or
  • Employees involved in food operations receive HACCP training exercise, in-service training in another food service sanitation area or attend an educational conference on food safety or sanitation.

Category 2 and 2a facilities shall receive one inspection per year.

Corona said the fees cover administrative costs within the health department.

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“All our fees are used to offset the food sanitation program,” she said.

Corona said she compared Madison County’s food truck fees to adjacent counties to include: St. Clair ($78 to $100 six months), Jersey ($100), St. Louis ($150), St. Charles ($150), and Sangamon ($591).

She said the cost of the plan review fee at $200 would remain the same. She said the cost is plan review was similar as other counties.

In 2018, the county established the operation of food trucks and permit fees.

During the May committee meeting, Alton city officials and the owners of Alton’s food truck park — Flock — asked the county to consider reducing the permit fee to attract more food trucks to Madison County.

County Board member Mike Babcock and chair of the health department committee said he believed lowering the fee would foster economic activity for the county.

County Board member Terry Eaker and health committee member said he was against lowering the fees as he didn’t feel that food trucks should pay less than established restaurants in the same categories.

The Finance Committee will vote discuss the issue at 4 p.m. June 9 before the County Board votes on the fee change at is 5 p.m. June 15 meeting.

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