News Report Staff

They serve up hot dogs, burgers, ribs, delicious desserts and much more from a variety of kitchens on wheels.

But food trucks, trailers and other food businesses on wheels could face more scrutiny in the future under a proposed ordinance for regulating mobile food service establishments.

Effingham Assistant Fire Chief Matt Kulesza said the ordinance is aimed to ensure safety for these mobile kitchens. It is not intended to discourage their use in Effingham.

“It’s about public and property safety. We want to make sure the operators are safe and people around them, too,” Kulesza explained Tuesday night to Effingham City Council members in City Hall.

The ordinance will cover rules on exhaust fumes, placement of generators, cooking hoods, propane tanks and spacing between other vehicles. Safety is an issue as food trucks or trailers are hitting the streets and different celebrations across the country.

Kulesza said 10 mobile food units exploded in different American communities last year. Thirteen people were killed in these tragedies and many more people were injured in other emergencies.

The ordinance will also establish an annual license and permit for mobile food operations.

“We’re having more events with these vehicles present,” said Merv Gillenwater, who served as mayor pro temp with Mayor Jeff Bloemker absent Tuesday. Effingham Commissioner Don Althoff was also absent.

City Commissioners Kevin Esker and Kevin Willis asked different questions and seemed satisfied with Kulesza’s answers. The council members will consider a vote on the mobile food service ordinance during a future meeting.

Amanda McKay, director of Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library, told commissioners there is a proposal to offer library cards throughout the Effingham and Teutopolis school districts. Cards outside the city limits cost an out-of-district fee, which can be a prohibitive cost to some families just a few miles away from the Effingham Library.

McKay, who was offering her quarterly report, added the library will expand its homebound program to residents not about to come to the library building due to illness or disability. The expansion can include new mothers in the community, who can be homebound for a time with their babies.

The council approved Koerner Distributor’s request to have its new facility on South Rainey Street removed from the South Central Industrial Tax Increment Financing District. Confusion over tax requirements would cause hardship on Koerner’s. The facility will remain in the Effingham Enterprise Zone. This will not have an ill effect on TIF funding for properties adjacent to Koerner’s, Effingham Economic Development Director Todd Hull said.

A rezoning of property at 702 S. Park Street from Single Family classification to Multiple Family Dwelling was also approved. This property is owned by Ralph R. White Jr. and Martha M. White. This rezoning was recommended by the Effingham Plan Commission by unanimous vote on February 13.

Effing Brew Company, at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Banker Street, was granted a change of its Restaurant License, which allows consumption and package sales, to a Brew Pub License that allows consumption and package sales for microbrewery businesses. The new business will open next month.

A transaction for $71,853 on new tele-communicator work stations was approved for the new Effingham Police building, now under construction by Effingham City Hall. The purchase was with Xybix Systems of Littleton, Colorado.

Jayne Miller was recognized as Effingham’s Employee of the Third Quarter of the current fiscal year. Miller helps pull everything together for the city engineering department through her organizational skills in the office. Miller is now eligible for Employee of the Year recognition at the end of the 2017-18 Fiscal Year.

Effingham Police Chief Jeff Fuesting presented Chief’s Accommodation Awards to tele-communicators Pharabe Norman, Danielle Flowers and Jordan Ping for their dedicated work on helping with training.