- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa City Council is a step closer to allowing food trucks to operate downtown between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. as part of a pilot program.

City council members are considering a plan that came after several vendors and potential customers requested to park their food trucks downtown, KCRG-TV (https://bit.ly/2jg7jCg ) reports. The City Council has one more vote set on the ordinance.

Some restaurant owners are not in favor of the proposed ordinance, including Brix Cheese Shop owner Nicholas Craig. Craig said he doesn’t like that food-truck vendors might park in front of his business.

Under the proposal, the program would run for three months in the spring and food trucks would have designated spots to park downtown.

The city is trying to create a pilot program that both respects the significant investment that it takes for brick and mortar restaurants and allows for new business models and restaurants, said Simon Andrew, assistant to the Iowa City manager.

Some business owners are still deciding whether to support the move.

“Having worked in restaurants my whole life I know how hard it is to start a successful restaurant. It’s difficult, it’s expensive, and food trucks are a good way for a lot of people that don’t have a lot of resources to get a start to get their foot in the door,” Hamburg Inn No. 2 manager Seth Dudley said.

Dudley said putting food trucks in direct competition with traditional restaurants would create some challenges, but he said he was waiting before making up his mind about whether the ordinance is a good idea.

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Information from: KCRG-TV, https://www.kcrg.com

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