The Portland Phoenix

Some food truck owners question survey

Cutter Street food trucks

June 15 was the first day for Portland food trucks in a parking lot on Cutter Street on the city's Eastern Promenade. Truck owners had mixed feelings about the new arrangement. (Portland Phoenix/Colin Ellis)

Two food truck owners spoke out at Monday night’s City Council meeting about a recent survey the city put out over this summer’s controversial program which moved the trucks down from their popular location at the top of the Eastern Promenade to Cutter Street.

Jordan Rubin, owner of Mr. Tuna, and Dylan Gardner, owner of Falafel Mafia, both said they had concerns about the survey the city put out. Both said they and other truck owners had not received the survey, and that the survey only asked questions about the Cutter Street lot, and did not gauge how people felt about the old location.

“That’s the goal of the food trucks,” Rubin said, “my food truck and a lot of others, is getting back to the old location. This survey is focusing on the Cutter Street lot and how people felt about the Cutter Street lot. It would have been nice if they did a survey on the old location.”

Interim City Manager Danielle West moved the trucks off the top of the Promenade this summer for a pilot program after several neighbors complained to the city. The 14 trucks that applied for the Cutter Street lot were eventually permitted to be down there, but it appeared their interest waned towards the end of the summer, as fewer trucks showed up on a daily basis.

Eastern Prom food trucks
Food trucks that had parked on Portland’s Eastern Promenade were moved to a lower parking lot in June. (Portland Phoenix/Colin Ellis)

“This is an important part of the conversation and should be part of the dialogue,” Gardner said of the old location. “Moving the trucks down low did not solve the problem and suggesting that it did doesn’t do any good in filling out this survey.”

Assistant City Manager Anne McGuire said the city was aware the survey had not gone out to vendors, and they are working with the company who put it out “for them to redouble their efforts” and make sure the vendors are included.

Gardner said it was “not clear who wrote the survey,” and said city councilors should be more directly involved in creating it.

Rubin pointed out the city chose Cutter Street against the judgment of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee, which had unanimously opted for a revised layout for the top of the Promenade. Rubin said a lot of the issues neighbors complained about – such as trash accumulation and the sound of the generators running the trucks – would have been addressed at this spot, but weren’t on Cutter Street.

The city’s survey is available through Oct. 14.

Council to vote on affordable TIF district for housing

The Council held a first reading on establishing a new affordable tax increment financing district for a housing development on Douglass Street.

The Council will vote on the proposal at a later meeting.

The development, called 45 Dougherty LP, is a project from the Szanton Company at 43 and 91 Douglass St. The developers are proposing 63-units of rental housing, and are requesting the TIF district and a credit enhancement agreement in order to help finance the project and make 46 of the units affordable at or below 60 percent area median income, which would mean a family of four earning $67,000. The remaining 17 units would be market rate.

The project would contain 35 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom.

If approved the TIF district would be provided through a credit enhancement agreement at 75 percent of tax increment revenues in the first 12 years, declining by 3.75 percent annually in years 13 through 30 during the term of the district of the increased taxable value, estimated a 30-year annual average of $77,656, with an estimated $2.3 million in captured increased assessed value returned to the developer.

The project would be taxable with an estimated annual assessment of $8.7 million and an estimated annual tax value of roughly $113,000 at the fiscal year 2022 mill rate.

The remaining increased taxable value, at the 30-year annual rate of $78,224 with an estimated total of $2.3 million, will be non-captured general fund revenue.

The Council will also have to vote to approve the credit enhancement along with the affordable TIF district.

— Colin Ellis

Exit mobile version