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Food truck park site may move

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | July 12, 2023 5:27 PM

MOSES LAKE — A proposed community food truck park may be relocated following the rejection of bids for the project by the Moses Lake City Council Tuesday.

Interim City Manager Kevin Fuhr, who also serves as police chief, told council members relocating the project might help reduce the costs.

“We had a long conversation about having staff look at moving the concept of the food park to the Civic Park behind (Moses Lake City Hall),” Fuhr said.

Civic Park has a paved walking path behind the Moses Lake Public Library, ending at a parking lot on South Chestnut Street. Fuhr said a place for food trucks could be built along that path.

“There’s already power back there, there’s already water back there, we’ve already got a bathroom facility back there,” Fuhr said. “We already have established trees, so we’ve got shade already set up, we’ve got picnic tables already set up.”

The food truck park was first proposed in early 2022, originally for a piece of city-owned property at the intersection of South Alder Street and Fourth Avenue. The land was part of the city’s community garden.

City officials planned to install water and electrical lines, take down the fence and add a bathroom, picnic tables and a shade structure. City officials budgeted about $505,000 for the project, and the project estimate was about $349,800.

The city received two bids, one for about $597,600, the other for about $1.27 million. City officials recommended rejecting both bids, which council members did.

“I know council (members) would like to get that project going, but with the cost, I just didn’t think that was prudent,” Fuhr said.

Grant County PUD officials had discussed installing an electric vehicle charging station at the library a few years ago, Fuhr said.

“It’d be great if we could have that conversation with them again,” he said.

A charging station would attract drivers from out of town, and they would be within a few yards of the food truck court, Fuhr said.

Deputy Mayor Deanna Martinez asked about the existing bathroom. Since the food truck court could be used year-round, Martinez asked if the bathroom was usable year-round

Doug Cutts, director of parks, recreation and cultural services, said the bathroom currently is closed due to vandalism. But more people in the park probably would change park usage, which might alleviate vandalism.

City engineer Richard Law said the bathroom wasn’t built for winter use, but that it could be winterized.

“It would not be a huge lift to turn it into a year-round facility,” Law said

“It would not be as much as buying a whole new bathroom,” Cutts said.

Council Member Judy Madewell asked about the Fourth Avenue property. Fuhr suggested that the council schedule an executive session to talk about the options for that land.

“We’ve got some ideas (for the Fourth Avenue property), but not ideas that we want to put out in public,” Fuhr said.

City officials will do some research, Fuhr said, and provide the council with some cost estimates and a revised site plan.

“I think we can take the concept from (Fourth Avenue), move it behind us, and do it for considerably cheaper than what we were going to do it here for, and still get the same outcome,” Fuhr said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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FILE PHOTO

Moses Lake city officials will look at moving a proposed food truck court from the original location on Fourth Avenue, pictured, to Civic Park.