Central Park: Park board approves food truck program

Trucks rent will be between $5,000 and $15,000

Heres a job Id be happy to apply for.

On Monday night the park board approved a one-year trial to place food trucks in three locations. But before those vendors are chosen, the park board is going to host a tasting event with 15 judges.

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The judges will be responsible for choosing which vendors get the green light to set up at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vanier Park or next to the information booth at the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park.

I wrote in this column last Wednesday that Vision Vancouver park board chair Constance Barnes is also anxious to try food trucks at playing fields, such as Andy Livingstone Park, which have no nearby food services or concessions and are open year-round. Barnes wants to ensure the look of each of the trucks fits within a park environment and offers healthy options at affordable prices.

According to a staff report presented to the park board Monday night, the locations were chosen because of their visibility, high foot or vehicle traffic and to minimize impact on food operations. The rent assigned to the trucks will be between $5,000 and $15,000. The report also notes introducing a food cart program in parks and near park board operated attractions was a recommendation included in the 2006 Concession Strategy Study.

Ive already heard from readers happy with the idea and who suggest using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to give park-goers up-to-the-minute updates on menus and locations.

Name game

Last week I wrote about a proposal to change the way the park board names public spaces. I heard from several residents with concerns, including former Green Party commissioner Stuart Mackinnon and former NPA commissioner Ian Robertson, as well as former park board candidate Jamie Lee Hamilton.

This new measure is anti-democratic since elected members of the park board will have undue influence regarding park names, Hamilton wrote in an email to the Courier. They will be able to instruct staff on the name they want for a particular park. This method will allow them to suggest names of friends or political insiders. Cronyism will creep into what was until now a fair and democratic process

In what looks like a response to comments and concerns from the public, the naming proposal was withdrawn from the park boards agenda for Mondays meeting.

A statement on the park boards Facebook page Monday read, Park naming report being withdrawn from tonights park board committee meeting to allow GM [Malcolm Bromley] and vice chair [Aaron Jasper] to work on more detailed analysis and recommendations.

Plug it in

Last week when I wrote about a proposal to install more outlets for electric vehicles in park board operated parks, attractions and community centres, the report wasnt available, but is now.

Barnes says there will be no charge to the park board for these extra outlets. She adds the goal is to increase the number of outlets in the city to 275 by 2017 and to that end the city is working with TELUS and B.C. Hydro to soon install three cellular and electric vehicle-charging stations at pay parking lots along Beach Avenue.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter: @sthomas10

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