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Food truck vendors in Island Lake see new rules, fee

Food trucks such as the Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery, operating here in Lincolnshire, will need permits to operate in Island Lake under newly approved rules.
Food trucks such as the Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery, operating here in Lincolnshire, will need permits to operate in Island Lake under newly approved rules.

Food truck vendors will have to buy $50 permits to operate at special events in Island Lake under newly approved rules.

The Village Board set the fee and approved permit rules Thursday.

Among other requirements, food truck operators will have to show proof of McHenry County Department of Health approval. Additionally, any amplified sound or music emanating from a truck must be approved in advance, according to the rules.

Separate permits will be needed for each truck at each event.

Island Lake Mayor Charles Amrich doesn’t think the rules will dissuade food truck operators from setting up at events in the village.

“People are always going to want to come to town and sell their wares,” he said. “We need to have an ordinance in place regulating them. You don’t want them in here every weekend.”

During a preliminary discussion last month, several trustees voiced support for allowing food trucks to operate at special events – but only at such events. Letting them set up anywhere at any time would put them in competition with brick-and-mortar restaurants, Trustee Chris Carlsen said.

Carlsen and his wife own the Chi-Town Dogs restaurant in Island Lake.

Trustees Dan Powell and Howard England also had voiced concern about how food trucks could affect local businesses.

Food trucks had been known to appear at Lakefest, a summertime event Island Lake hosted through 2018. It wasn’t held last year or this year.

The new ordinance also establishes a permit process for ice cream trucks. Vendors in those vehicles will be allowed to sell their tasty wares on local roads for a flat $50 annual fee.

Ice cream trucks have been allowed to drive through town in search of customers for years, Village Clerk Georgine Cooper said.

Food or ice cream trucks operating on private property with the property owner’s permission – say, at a business for a company event – are exempt from the regulations.

Food truck policies vary from town to town in the Chicago area.

Lincolnshire hosts summertime gatherings of mobile kitchens each summer called Food Truck Fridays, although this year’s series was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Barrington, food trucks are allowed only for special events or if they’re associated with brick-and-mortar food businesses in town.

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