The Orange City Council voted to spend $50,000 in economic development money for Mike Lemoine and Spanky’s Barbecue on 16th Street to expand a parking lot.
The council Tuesday voted on the grant, which was also approved by the city’s Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. The money for the grant comes from the city’s special sales tax approved by voters in 2002. State law restricts its use.
City Economic Development Director Jay Trahan said Lemoine is planning $213,000 worth of improvements to the restaurant with a parking lot addition for 38 more spaces. He said Lemoine expects the improvements will lead to an increase of $750,000 in annual sales.
In other council business, the council agreed on first reading to implement two ordinances to allow trucks or carts to sell ice cream, snow cones and similar snacks on all city streets. For decades, the city has prohibited ice cream trucks in residential areas.
The ordinances must be approved on second reading before beginning. A second reading should be held in two weeks.
Under the ordinances, trucks or carts must have a $25 city permit and pass the Orange County Health Department inspection. They can operate from sunrise to sunset and music will be limited. The trucks and carts must also have “Watch for Children” signs on all sides.
District 1 Councilor Pat Pullen asked about the city requiring criminal background checks on the vendors. However, City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said legal decisions prohibit the city from doing criminal background checks on door-to-door vendors.
Pullen also questioned about the trucks being able to operate in a park during regular hours. He said lighted parks stay open until 10 p.m. A lighted park with a wooded area could be a security hazard, he said.
Oubre said the city attorney will research the requests and they can be added later.
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-
photo by Hillary Haynes