Source: NorthFulton.com

Alpharetta Council meeting: New weekly food truck event planned
Serving alcohol sticking point

by JONATHAN COPSEY

February 06, 2013

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – In an effort to increase the amount of events in downtown Alpharetta, the mayor and council heard an application for a new food truck event at their Feb. 4 meeting. After debate, they voted unanimously to table the idea.

“We were looking for something to engage with the community weekly,” said Special Events Manager Kim Dodson.

It would be a new food truck event on Milton Avenue and feature at least four trucks and space for one local restaurant on Thursdays throughout the year.

The cost to the city would be about $78,000 for the year – this includes public safety costs, staff time, electricity and logistics costs incurred by the city. The food trucks would pay a fee to Fork in the Road, a food truck itself, and its manager Terry Hall, who has taken the lead role in organizing the event. There would be no profit sharing. The trucks would keep their earnings and the city would get no share.

Dodson said the city was approached by Hall to create something akin to Smyrna’s successful similar events, held weekly on Tuesdays. Smyrna sees crowds of 2,000-3,000 people turn out.

“No one anticipated how many people were going to respond to that,” said Hall.

While the council largely liked the idea, the sticking point was Hall’s wish to serve alcohol at the events.

“We’re asking for 28 weeks of ‘special alcohol pouring permits?’” asked Councilmember D.C. Aiken.

With all the special events happening throughout the year, Dodson said the city will issue special alcohol permits for most weekends.

“Participation almost doubles with the option to buy alcohol,” said Hall.

Councilmember Chris Owens said the issue was to allow alcohol for so many weeks at one event.

“It’s one issue to approve a permit once a year, but to allow 28 a year? Is it still special? Are we undermining our own ordinance?” Owens said.

The issue was tabled until the Feb. 18 council meeting.

ALSO AT THE MEETING:

**Council unanimously approved TopGolf Alpharetta to build a driving range on Davis Drive.

**An update to the City Center project showed they were trending $900,000 over budget due to poor soil around the foundation. Some of that cost was offset by redesigning the parking deck, cutting six spaces while saving $120,000. More design changes could save further money.

** The annual audit of the city’s finances showed that revenues were $3 million higher than expected and expenses were $2.6 million less than expected. Property values still declined, but additional sales tax and building permit fees made up the difference.