Hahira restaurant owners petition food trucks

Hahira restaurant owners petition food trucks

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Restaurant owners in Hahira said more needs to be done when it comes to regulating food trucks in the area.

Earlier this week they presented the city council with a petition, asking for a "reasonable ordinance" to regulate the trucks to protect the economic impact local restaurants have on the community.

Brenda Hassenstab and Garrett Giddens are both owners of mobile food trucks.

They said that they just want the opportunity to help the city of Hahira grow.

"Just give us a chance, let us set up here," said Hassenstab.

City council members in Hahira were approached with a petition Monday night by restaurant owners.

That petition was a request for an ordinance to regulate the operation of food trucks, but mobile food truck owners disagree with the ordinance proposal, which they said would limit their opportunity to sell.

Hassenstab, owner of Kona Ice, said food trucks are adding to the community, not hindering it.

"I just think it's really unfair," said Hassenstab. "We're not here to take away nobody's business, we're just here to promote our business."

Giddens is the owner of Hibachi Highway. He takes his food truck across several counties.

Giddens does not see the need to regulate because his visits are not often.

"I could see if we were coming and we were setting up every day next to a restaurant and stealing a lot of the other local restaurant's business, it could become a problem. But as far as us, we're going to be all over the surrounding counties, so, I don't see us being a harm to any of these businesses we're near," said Giddens.

With the Honeybee Festival bringing in over 30,000 people to Harhira every year, the city is growing said Hassenstab.

She believes that food trucks will only attract more people to the area.

"This town's growing and we just want to grow along with it, we want to offer them different products," said Hassenstab.

Hassenstab and Giddens both said that people love having food trucks as an option.

Both of them hope city officials will take a deeper look.

"I hope they change their mind and allow us to come, cause we enjoy it, we enjoy doing it and bringing it to the public," said Hassenstab.

There is another city council meeting Thursday night where city officials expect representatives with the Hahira Merchant Association to comment on the request.

That will be a the Hahira Courthouse at 6 p.m.

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