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Dolores passes ordinance to allow for food trucks

License and inspections are required to operate
Food trucks, such as Kelly's Kitchen, operate in Dolores under a new ordinance. (Courtesy Kelly's Kitchen)

The Dolores Town Board has passed an ordinance to allow for mobile food trucks and pushcarts.

According to the new ordinance, the food trucks and pushcarts must obtain a business license from town, pay a fee and go through an annual inspection process.

They are required to have a food-service certification from the Montezuma County Health Department, and pay state and local taxes.

Food trucks and pushcarts are allowed to operate within designated commercial areas and park areas in town, and are prohibited from operating in all other zones. A $50 per day fee is require to operate in a public park.

According to the ordinance, hood suppression systems are recommended, but not required, for food truck operations that create grease-laden vapors when cooking.

The suppression systems use a chemical to extinguish grease fires. All restaurants have this system.

If already equipped with a hood-suppression system, the unit must be inspected bi-annually and tagged by a third party inspector.

Dolores building inspector David Doudy said Colorado is considering requiring hood suppression systems for all food trucks, and the latest building codes require them.

If Dolores upgrades its building code, or if the state decides to require them, the Dolores ordinance would need to be amended, he said.

Doudy has inspected about 6 food trucks operating in Dolores.

The town decided to pursue a food truck ordinance because of its increasing popularity, said town manager Ken Charles.

“Previously they were not allowed, so this ordinance allows them to operate now,” he said.

The Friday Food and Fun Night in Dolores features food trucks at Central Avenue and Fourth Street from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. then a drive-in movie at Joe Rowell park.

People are encouraged to pick up a meal at the food trucks or a local restaurant to enjoy while they are watching the movie.