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Food trucks coming to downtown Watsonville

Modified: Thursday, Oct 11th, 2012

The Watsonville City Council approved a proposal to allow food trucks to operate on Peck Street. (Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE — Faced with concerns about cleanliness and public safety, the Watsonville City Council approved a proposal Tuesday night to allow food trucks to operate on Peck Street, in an attempt to create foot traffic during nighttime in the downtown area.

The council voted 4-1 in favor of the proposal, with councilmember Nancy Bilicich dissenting. Councilmembers Emilio Martinez and Oscar Rios were not present.

Around 15 food trucks will operate starting Oct. 19 on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to midnight for a three-month trial period.

The issue was discussed during the council's Sept. 25 meeting, but the decision was delayed after Martinez proposed an 8 p.m. starting time on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

During the two-week period, Assistant City Manager Marcela Tavantzis discussed the new times with restaurants located around the Peck Street area, and found that the owners were against it.

"They were all OK with 9 o'clock, but they were all not OK with 6 o'clock," she said. "Not a single restaurant received me happily with the news of 6 o'clock."

Fernando Muñoz, whose parents own a Watsonville taqueria, spoke out against the food trucks, saying it would create a negative image of the city, and escalate litter and gang problems.

"Do you want a food truck in your backyard? I don't," he said. "That's not the image you guys want."

For the complete article see the 10-11-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-11-2012 paper.

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