Council to Vote on Mobile Food Vending Ordinance

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After months of discussion and a series of public hearings, the Hermiston City Council will vote tonight on an ordinance regulating mobile food vendors.

If passed, the ordinance will require mobile food vendors to obtain a license in order to operate a mobile food unit within the city limits. The ordinance will also require vendors to operate in approved locations, pay fees and maintain set standards of operation.

A draft ordinance was created by the council’s subcommittee on mobile food vending. Consisting of councilors George Anderson, Manuel Gutierrez and John Kirwan, the subcommittee held hearings before the city’s Business Advisory Committee, Hispanic Advisory Committee, the Hermiston Planning Commission, as well as the general public. The subcommittee drafted the ordinance after receiving feedback from the groups and general public and debate among members of the city council.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the council will vote on a resolution to support Blue Mountain Community College’s capital improvement bond renewal measure. If passed by voters in November, the $28.1 million renewed bond measure will allow the college to build several new facilities designed to train students in ag-related industries. The facilities include a Center for Sustainable Precision Irrigated Agriculture in Hermiston, an Applied Animal Science Education Center in Pendleton, and an Industrial Processes Workforce & STEM Training Center in Boardman.

The measure would cost taxpayers 31 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The bond measure would be a renewal of an already existing measure that is due to expire next year and would not be a new tax.

The council will also consider accepting a $270,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a 7,830-foot fence at the Hermiston Airport. The city of Hermiston would provide $20,000 in matching funds and the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Authority would kick in $10,000 in matching funds.

The city council will also consider amending the text of its zoning ordinance designed to enforce medical marijuana regulations within the city. The city’s land use counsel has recommended that the city amend its zoning ordinance to state that building permits and occupancies must be established within accordance not only with the city’s rules and regulations, but also with state and federal regulations.

The council meeting is at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall.