To the Editor:

The big question is whether LeMu Eats is a food truck or is it an established restaurant? LeMu Eats is a food truck by all definitions of the word. It is a camper on wheels.

LeMu Eats was asked to set up in the parking lot of Steam Mill Brewery on Mechanic Street in the spring of 2019. They did put it up on blocks and put in a porch with steps up to the window and also they put on a roof structure, but they are still on wheels and still can be mobile in very little time. In my humble opinion, it is still a food truck.

Background into this situation has been interesting to say the least. There have been no complaints until a few months ago when a concerned citizen (who wishes to be anonymous) came into the CEO Toby Walker’s office and complained that LeMu Eats was in violation of our town code and ordinances with the above improvements made to it so it was now a restaurant not a food truck.

Then, former town manager Scott Cole stopped in to see now town manager Loretta Powers and had the same complaints as the other complainant. The CEO was looking into it and had not made a determination yet on which way to proceed. Next, we came to our selectman meeting on May 19, when our selectman Michele V. Cole made the same claims when we were discussing their victualer license.

We also received an e-mail from a property owner on Mechanic Street that was complaining about LeMu Eats. This was the first we had heard of this complaint. We decided to hold off on approval of their license till the June 8 select board meeting so we could get more information.

At the select board meeting on June 8, selectman Michele V. Cole had a dispute with how the minutes read concerning the conversation with CEO Walker about this matter. She made a motion to change the minutes and it did not get a second so it did not pass. She voiced her opinion again that they were a restaurant not a food truck.

We as a board, after much discussion, took a vote and the license passed with a 3 to 1 vote. There was a stipulation that CEO Walker would continue to look into the matter, and to possibly have a site plan review scheduled. We also decided that we need to work on our ordinances to include “Food Trucks”.

This was not satisfactory to selectman Michele V. Cole as per her letter to the editor last week. CEO Walker was not given the time he needed to pursue this matter, nor was the Board of Selectmen.

Years ago, Bethel was known for being anti new business and we as a town and board have worked hard to change that atmosphere to a business friendly town, and now this is happening.

We have to remember in this time of pandemic and state of emergency that we all need all the help we can get to just get by whether it be personal or business related needs. So, with that being said, we are all trying to adapt to new ways of conducting business, not by going backwards in time to the old atmosphere, but by trying to move forward and fixing the problems so there will be no questions on the definitions in the future. Thank you.

Lori Swain
Bethel Selectman


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