City council recap: Food trucks approved for Liger home games; students present $2,070 donation for ballpark
The Detroit Lakes Ligers received city council approval on April 11 for up to three food trucks at each of their 13 home games at Washington Ballpark this season.
DETROIT LAKES — Food trucks are coming to Washington Ballpark this summer.
The Detroit Lakes Ligers, the city's amateur baseball team, received city council approval on April 11 for up to three food trucks to operate on Langford Street during the club's 13 home games this summer, following a plea from the team's manager.
"Our goal, and our vision is to use our national pastime to celebrate and engage our community," said Brandon Johnson, player/manager for the Detroit Lakes Ligers.
The measure was introduced at the city council meeting by Ron Zeman, alderman first ward and chair of the city's public works committee. Zeman said it wouldn't be fair to brick-and-mortar restaurants that pay taxes to allow the food trucks to park along a public right-of-way for the 13 games; potentially taking business from the surrounding establishments.
"When we have these food trucks, they are really not supposed to be on any public streets when they set up," said Zeman. He added that event organizers have figured out that, if they apply for a special event permit, the food trucks can be included under the permit and allowed to park on a public right-of-way.
"It's getting to be happening too much," Zeman added. "The people that own restaurants, and make a living year-round off that, they are paying taxes and they are concerned because they need to be there to pay their bills, and a food truck, he's got bills too, but it's not like a guy that owns a business."
He then moved to table the baseball team's special event permit until next month so they could discuss the food truck-issue more in-depth.
Johnson responded to Zeman, and said: "I don't want to have more than two or three (food trucks) because I want them to be these local businesses, not the (food trucks) that are traveling all around, I want Detroit Lakes-specific ones."
Johnson also said each home game is sponsored by a local business that covers the costs to play the game, and the additional food options will hopefully bring more attention to games and sponsors.
Following Johnson's comments, Dan Josephson, alderman third ward, said he thought it was up the customer to decide where they want to spend their money, and moved to approve the permit.
Zeman then amended the approval motion to the permit and included a limit of no more than three food trucks at each game, which passed unanimously.
The first home game at Washington Ballpark for the Detroit Lakes Ligers is on May 27 at 3 p.m. against the Vergas Loons.
Two DLHS seniors present $2,070 donation for Washington Ballpark
Two Detroit Lakes High School seniors presented the Detroit Lakes City Council with a $2,070 donation for the city's Washington Ballpark.
Mason Omberg and Duston Steeke said they took on the fundraising effort as part of their senior capstone project, which are projects designed by students to make a positive impact for the community.
"So we did Washington Ballpark ... it's been a part of my life since I was this big," said Omberg. He explained the students sold raffle tickets for $10 apiece, and the prizes they awarded to the winners were all donated by local businesses.
"We had a nice little help with our family and friends at the last minute to help us push over that $2,000 mark," he said. "And we just have this nice check that we'd like to give to somebody."
More than $1 million in funding for the Washington Ballpark renovation project was included in the state's bonding bill. The bill was passed out of the Minnesota House in March, but failed in the Senate a week later, after GOP senators all voted against the measure and demanded action on tax cuts before addressing the bonding bill. The bill requires a 41-vote supermajority in the senate that is currently led by the DFL with a 34-33 majority.
Additionally, council members scheduled a public hearing for the Campbell Avenue, Linden Lane and Summit Avenue street reconstruction projects for May 9.
Members also authorized a preliminary engineer's report for a Willow Springs street project, which should be completed in coming months.