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Local
Food truck regulations discussed for Burlington and Racine

BURLINGTON — Summer fun means sun, music and more recently, food trucks.

While the City of Burlington doesn’t have any registered food trucks, they are becoming a staple of outdoor events.

The Burlington Community Aquatic Center’s committee had the Los Agaves Mexican food truck cater their Sneak A Peek fundraiser last weekend. And Mercantile Hall owner Wendy Lynch plans on having an event with a beer garden inside and food trucks parked outside called “Trucks and Taps,” scheduled for July 1.

City Administrator Carina Walters said the city has been approached by interested vendors and wanted to put some regulations in place. The ordinance also applies to food carts.

The City Council’s Committee of the Whole discussed the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting.

The ordinance requires that food trucks and food carts:

  • Acquire and maintain permits and undergo inspections. For 2018, the operator’s license will cost $50, same as a direct seller’s license, but the city can revisit the fee in the future.
  • Maintain a distance of 10 feet from the nearest edge of any building or vehicle and 2 feet from the curb;
  • Park so that their customer service area faces the curb;
  • Not operate within a 100-foot radius of any licensed food establishment;
  • Either provide their own power or plug into an establishment’s electrical power with their written permission;
  • Operate within the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday;
  • Not operate within 500 feet of any event that is licensed and sanctioned by the city, including farmer’s markets, fairs, carnivals and other special events, without obtaining a permit or permission.

Representatives from downtown Burlington restaurants expressed their concerns during the discussion.

Don Golan, owner of Flippy’s Fast Food, 401 N. Pine St., took issue with how low the costs were for running a food truck — he said his annual restaurant licensing fee is $690.

“The trucks that are going to come, they’re just going to come in, collect and go home,” he said.

Golan recommended that instead of allowing trucks downtown, the city should specify other areas where they could go.

“Do we have a business district where they could park?” he said. “That would be a place that I would like to see them go.”

Walters said that based on the owners’ comments, city staff will review the ordinance before it is brought to the full council for a vote, possibly by their next meeting on June 5.

Racine’s ordinances

The City of Racine already has mobile food establishment licensing ordinances on the books, but City Administrator Jim Palenick said they’re in the process of clarifying some of the rules, particularly about where and when they can set up shop.

“We’re currently in the process to update and institutionalize laws in regard to food trucks,” he said. “We haven’t seen a lot of them, but they’ve worked pretty well.”

The city’s website says mobile food establishments must follow the same requirements as regular restaurants and food service vendors in terms of licensing and inspections.

Downtown Racine Corp. Executive Director Kelly Kruse said the city has been “very helpful” with events that involved food trucks, such as Party on the Pavement and the Fire and Ice Festival.

“The trucks that are going to come, they’re just going to come in, collect and go home.” Don Golan, owner of Flippy’s Fast Food, 401 N. Pine Street, who was concerned about food trucks stealing business

GREGORY SHAVER, FOR THE JOURNAL TIMES 

A graduate looks for family members during Gateway Technical College’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday night at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Sports and Activity Center, 900 Wood Road, Somers. The ceremony recognized 947 prospective candidates for graduation from Summer 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. Of that, 494 graduates earned an associate degree or technical diploma this spring. A total of 395 students participated in the ceremony, the most since 2012. For more photos from Gateway's ceremony, go to JournalTimes.com/gallery.


Local
Poclain Hydraulics plans $20 million expansion

YORKVILLE — Poclain Hydraulics is planning a major expansion of its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant here, a project that will exceed $20 million including new equipment.

Poclain, at 1300 Grandview Parkway in Grandview Business Park, is a France-based leader in the design and manufacture of hydrostatic transmissions including motors, pumps, valves, electronics and associated services for vehicles. Its markets include construction, agriculture, mining, rail, material handling and industrial.

The expansion to the building’s west side will add more than 60,000 square feet to the existing 105,000 square-foot plant here, Poclain’s only North American manufacturing operation. The project will expand the production area by about 60 percent.

Poclain, which employs about 250 people, said the expansion will add about 30 jobs within three years. Construction is set to begin May 30, with occupancy expected late this year.

The company said the addition will provide the needed framework and floor space to add future processes and product manufacturing.

“The need for this addition is due to the strong growth of Poclain in North America and the expansion of our current product lines,” said Markus Rauchhaus, Poclain’s group director for North America. “It positions us to respond to future growth and will allow us to bring production of additional product lines to North America.”

“Our future roadmap predicts further growth and investment in U.S. manufacturing.”

The general contractor for the project will be American Construction Services of West Bend. ACS President Kraig Sadownikow said construction should take six to seven months. The project will employ about 100 tradesmen, all from Wisconsin companies.

Poclain was established in 1976 and has its international headquarters in Verberie, France. It employs about 2,000 people worldwide and has 11 production units in seven countries. The company said it has more than 330 registered patents worldwide.


Local
Racine
Stop signs at Goold, Carlisle draw concerns, mayor steps in with veto

RACINE — Stop signs at a north side intersection have drawn a lot of controversy. The mayor even stepped in.

The City Council earlier this month voted down a recommendation to remove a four-way stop control at the intersection of Goold Street and Carlisle Avenue. Installation of the four-way stop was approved last fall, according to city records. But the city’s Traffic Commission later recommended removing that control and re-installing a two-way stop, with the signs facing Carlisle Avenue.

The request was brought forward by Racine County Board Supervisor Melissa Kaprelian-Becker. She told city officials that her constituents have complained that the all-way stop is unnecessary, according to minutes from the Traffic Commission’s meeting.

After more than an hour of discussion at its May 1 meeting, the City Council disagreed with the committee’s request; only 1st District Alderman Jeff Coe and 4th District Alderman Tracey Larrin supported the move, meeting minutes show. The council then took further action on the subject, voting 13 to 2 in favor of directing city staff to bring forward “a better, safer solution at this intersection.” Racine Mayor Cory Mason vetoed that request.

Mason said he wanted to offer a sense of security to the residents near the intersection, who expressed concerns about safety for children. He said he didn’t want them to feel like the matter remained in flux.

“I think it’s really important for those neighborhood residents, over by Carlisle and Goold, to have certainty that their kids are going to be able to be safe in that neighborhood,” Mason said.

Whether a four-way stop was the best way to ensure safety in that location was a point of contention among aldermen when they addressed the issue earlier this month. Some argued that data presented by city staff did not support the need for the four-way stop. Others argued that the information did not reflect anecdotal experiences people had but didn’t report to the city.

City Council President Jason Meekma, who represents the 14th District, requested that the council consider overriding Mason’s veto because he said he thought the staff study was a good compromise between those in favor and opposed to the stop signs. The veto was sustained Tuesday after the request to override failed by a vote of 6 to 8.

“I think it’s really important for those neighborhood residents, over by Carlisle and Goold, to have certainty that their kids are going to be able to be safe in that neighborhood.” Racine Mayor Cory Mason

Mason