Donaldsonville City Council votes down food truck ordinance

Michael Tortorich
Donaldsonville Chief

The Donaldsonville City Council denied in a narrow 3-2 vote an ordinance that would have set regulations for mobile food vendors, such as food trucks, during the March 28 meeting.

A catfish and shrimp poboy is shown in a file photo.

The ordinance would have amended the code of ordinances to enact definitions, permitted locations, prohibited locations, permit requirements, fees, insurance requirements and fines for such vendors.

Lydia Hambrick, who owns and operates Gaston's BBQ and Beer with her husband, David Hambrick, at 418 Mississippi St. in the city's historic district, spoke in opposition of the ordinance.

In the past decade, the Hambrick family has renovated Gaston's BBQ and Beer and the adjoining Inn on the River hotel and Columns on the River.

In 2013, the Hambricks purchased the former Bank of Ascension and the Netter building, which date back to 1911.

During the public hearing, Hambrick said allowing food trucks would take business away from brick-and-mortar restaurants that hire local workers and pay all taxes.

Another speaker who was opposed to the move, Brandon Katz, said his family has been working on opening a restaurant on Railroad Avenue, across from City Hall.

Council member Lauthaught Delaney made a motion to deny the ordinance as presented and "go back to the drawing board."

In other matters during the meeting:

  • The council approved a budget increase to $25,000 for the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council to cover expenses for the group's trip to Washington, D.C., for the National League of Cities conference.
  • Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux said CF Industries donated a Holmatro cutting tool worth $25,000 to the department.
  • Chair Charles Brown amended the agenda to make a point of clarification to the public that the city's water service, Parish Utilities of Ascension, is owned and operated by Ascension Parish Government. He said all issues with bills, leaks, and other matters related to the water company should be directed to the parish's office.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.