NEW PALESTINE — Residents in New Palestine may have more options for a quick meal in the not-too-distant future as the town’s council, following months of discussions, passed a new food truck ordinance.

The ordinance was approved during the June 5 council meeting, but only after the council again discussed the details of the measure.

The full council, President Teri Reed, Vice President Bill Niemier, Secretary Chad Molinder, Councilman Ryan Hartley and Councilman Ethan Maple all agreed to put the issue to rest, passing the measure 5-0.

Prior to passing the ordinance, Maple still wasn’t convinced the council had the final draft, created by the town’s attorney, exactly how they wanted.

“I have a couple questions,” Maple said. “Does this say what we want it to say and I’m not sure it does.”

The ordinance has taken several months to iron out due to the fact the council got caught up in the intricate details. As an example, in one section of the ordinance brought forth to approve last week, the paperwork noted food trucks can operate from a parcel or location for a period of 48 hours.

Maple wanted different wording.

“I know our review of this centered around this particular pr0vision,” Maple said. “One of my suggestions would be instead of saying for a period of 48 hours my suggestion would be for a period of two days.”

Maple said the ordinance is supposed to clearly map out how long operations can be within any one week. He felt someone could separate the 48 hours into 48 hours of operations any way they wanted, such as four hours one day, three hours the next, and therefore be in one place longer than town officials would like, which is two consecutive days.

“I’m not sure that’s the intention of what this provision is,” Maple said. “The way this reads, it confused me.”

The town’s attorney said he read the period of 48 hours as being consecutive, and suggested adding the word “consecutive.” That prompted Niemier, who is also an attorney, to say that if a person is there a few hours then leaves, when they come back it would start a whole new 48 hours, defeating the purpose of the ordinance.

“I agree with Ethan,” Niemier said. “We’re trying to avoid a food truck being in the same location for a protracted time period.”

Molinder chimed in and noted the way it was written was confusing and suggested the wording to say, “two operating days.”

After more discussion, the council ended up passing the measure with a few changes, including adding the words “two consecutive days.”

“I think that is a good clarification,” Niemier said.

Niemier and Maple both suggested other changes which included deleting passages and wording due to duplication and then adding sections in other areas.

“I am 100% in favor of voting on this ordinance this evening,” Niemier said. “I see no reason to table this item this evening just because we want to make a couple of clarifications.”

That prompted some council members to laugh, knowing how long it’s taken the town leaders to iron this particular ordinance out and officially get it on the books.

Last year’s council first brought forth the idea of changing the town’s food truck ordinance with concerns about how close a food truck can be to brick-and-mortar establishments. That was also one of the main issues the new council settled on the new ordinance, moving from 200 feet to 150 feet of a business that sells food or beverages.

“I’m O.K. with these changes, and this is a living document,” Hartley said. “We can test it and if we don’t like it we can amend it in the future.”

The ordinance, with four total amendments, passed unanimously on the first reading, causing the council to suspend the rules for a second reading.

“We have a food truck ordinance,” Niemier said with a laugh.

The ordinance is available for viewing with town officials and soon to be online at