The 20 or so food truck vendors who will be in attendance at the town's first Food Truck Festival next week won't have to pay more for a permit, the Legislative Council decided this week.
But next year the issue needs to be revisited, they said, and most likely increased.
The Food Truck Festival, which takes place Oct. 18 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Town Center Park next to Miller Library, was an idea that the Town Park Commission came up with relatively recently and put together quickly as a way to end the 2013 fair season.
It's also the last day of the Hamden Farmer's Market, which has seen an explosion in growth and popularity this year.
When commission members met with vendors interested in taking part in the festival, they pitched a $25 permit fee. But when they went to the Legislative Council for approval of that fee, several council members balked, saying it was too low for what is expected to be the large crowds anticipated to attend.
Last week, members of the council's Recreation and Culture Committee, and other council members not on the committee, said they wanted the Town Park Commission to increase the fee for this year's event. But on Monday, the full council unanimously approved the $25 fee with the warning that they expect it to be increased next year.
Council member Harry Gagliardi said as an educator — he is retired from the Ansonia school system — they used to hold fundraisers and charge vendors a percentage of the take. That is something the Town Park Commission should consider, he said.
"You make more money that way," he said.
"I don't think you're going to get any vendor to open their books," Councilman Jack Kennelly said. "But I agree wholeheartedly that we have to increase the fees because the trucks are making a killing."
Vendors will be selling bottles of water for $5 and only paying $25 for the permit, Councilwoman Berita Rowe-Lewis said.
"The have put together a brillant, brillant event but I think they were short-sighted," she said. "They are charging a pittiance — we have to be careful that we aren't putting the burden on taxpayers.
"The Police Department is most certainly going to come back to us for overtime costs," she said.