Le Mu Eats is located on Mechanic Street in Bethel. Bethel Citizen photo by Samuel Wheeler

BETHEL — Monday, selectmen voted unanimously to send an article on amending a part of town code to a special town meeting scheduled for Monday, Sep. 21.

A public hearing on the amendment will be on Tuesday Sep. 8.

The amendment falls under chapter 140-12  “word usage and definitions” and chapter 140-3 “ applicability” in town code.

The article will ask “shall the town vote to amend the Site Plan Review Ordinance to create a definition for Food Trucks, and exempt same from site plan review under the ordinance?”

The article on the proposed amendment has already been reviewed by the town’s attorney.

The proposed definition of a food truck is “any licensed motorized vehicle or mobile trailer where food and drink is prepared, served, kept or, stored for retail sale from said vehicle or trailer.”

An amendment to Chapter 140-3 would note that site plan review would not be applicable to the use of food trucks.

Select Woman Michele Varuolo Cole, who first brought the idea of amending the code to the board back in June.

Cole said if the town is going to exempt Le Mu from site plan review, it helps to define what a food truck is.

Powers said that she expects both the hearing and special town meeting to at least be held via Zoom, but that it may also be held in-person also.

Selectman Lloyd Sweetser was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Background

What prompted the proposed amendment was discussion at a June select board meeting, when Le Mu Eats, a small food business next to Steam Mill Brewery, was trying to get its victualers license renewed. The license renewal ended up being approved, but not until after lengthy debate on whether or not their business was actually a food truck. Discussion on this happen at a June 1 selectmen meeting.

Victualers licenses are locally issued every year and are mandatory for businesses preparing and selling food.

At the June 1 meeting, Cole said Le Mu’s decision not to leave their location next to the Steam Mill Brewery, where they’ve been since January 2019, clarifies the business as a commercial structure. It was one of several reasons Cole offered on why the business is not a food truck.

In a letter to the Bethel Citizen on June 18, Cole expressed her frustrations and concerns over the board’s handling of the situation. She said the trailer Le Mu operates from does not have an engine, nor does it possess a state registration for a trailer or truck.

Also in her letter Cole said the business fits the commercial structure definition in multiple places in town code.

At a June 22 meeting, Cole suggested moving forward with an amendment to the ordinance and she also drafted the amendment wording and sent it to town officials.

Other news

Selectmen approved accepting a work truck bid from Portland North Truck Center for $97,235.

Town Clerk Christen Mason said she has already received requests for absentee ballots for the November election. Many area towns experienced a sharp increase in absentee ballots for last months election.

Powers announced that the town was awarded a Keep Maine Healthy grant for $135,555.

Aug 3 meeting

Selectmen approved allowing Bethel Area Art and Music (BAAM) to use the town common for a week to hold dance classes.

BAAM is looking to host dance classes starting Monday Aug. 17. The classes would go 9 to 945 a.m. and 10 to 1045 a.m.

Only ten children will be allowed per class.

Selectmen approved buying three shade trees for the Davis Park Playground area.

The total cost for the trees will be $990. Money from the conservation commission budget will be used to purchase the trees.

The trees are red sunset maple trees and they grow naturally by rivers. A total of three trees will be bought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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