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Sharon business wants to open a food truck

SHARON — A business owner’s suggestion that the town draft an ordinance to allow food trucks was heard by the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8.  The selectmen held the meeting at Town Hall, with the public participating by Zoom.

Discussion of allowing regulated food trucks led off with First Selectman Brent Colley saying the town is trying to help local businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. There are also business owners who may want to expand their business model.

With the Sharon Valley Tavern closed since the pandemic began in March, owner Jessica Kain told the selectmen that state regulations stipulate that her business cannot serve alcohol without food being available for customers. She said that a food truck is a viable option for her.

“If I offer the best hot dog in town, then people would come to Sharon,” she said. Kain also noted the potential for increased revenue and job creation, to staff the truck.

Selectman Dale Jones suggested that North Canaan’s recently drafted Food Truck Ordinance might serve as a starting template to be considered. And Selectman Casey Flanagan cautioned that the town would need to be certain that all health codes were being met.

Kain pointed out that owning a food truck would be more cost effective for her than remodeling the tavern’s kitchen.  She said that she would be willing to pay any fees that might be required for the truck.

Jones praised the idea of Kain having a food truck as a “great and innovative idea.” He added that welcoming food trucks to town would help to build events.

“I’m excited to see it happening here,” Jones said. “We have the natural resources to be able to attract food truck vendors.”

“I’m all about expanding opportunities,” Kain said.

The selectmen unanimously agreed to pursue the creation of an ordinance to allow food trucks to do business in town. The drafted ordinance would need to be considered by the selectmen and then go through the public hearing process.

Speeding along Hilltop Road continues. Sharon Center School is on the road, which is also a shortcut to Route 4.

Colley announced that he had received a petition signed by 12 of the 14 residents who live along the street, asking that speed bumps be installed.  

He said that a review process is needed to examine the details of the proposal, to be followed by a public hearing. The selectmen agreed that a hearing would need to be postponed until the pandemic subsides.

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