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Buffalo cracking down on unlicensed food trucks


Buffalo has some fairly strict rules for food trucks, including a licensing requirement with a fee. Common Councilmembers are looking at a crackdown on trucks that are not licensed, but are selling food in the city anyway.

The Council galloped through a long just-back-from-vacation agenda Tuesday, the first entirely completed on the new computer system. The computer system worked fairly well, with some members still learning how it works.

When it came time to issue a food truck license to Anderson's Custard, the latest truck to seek the city's decal, Council President Darius Pridgen blasted the unlicensed trucks, including some looking for customers in his waterfront neighborhood.

Pridgen says the decals should be visible to the public so it can call City Hall and report unlicensed trucks.

"Visible in the same place on every truck on the outside. Again, I think I said last year, I don't want to be the one that chases down the ice cream man, please," Pridgen says. "It's unfair that somebody like Anderson's would pay and then you have some others who are cutting holes in vans and riding through neighborhoods with a bell."

Pridgen also had some questions about sanitary status of those trucks.

The Lovejoy District's Richard Fontana says each Councilmember should be given a list of the licensed trucks so they could monitor sales in their districts. He also called for the city website to include that list so residents could complain about the unlicensed trucks.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.