Burnet council nixes airport food court

Contributed/Leslie Baugh
Residents and visitors of the City of Burnet enjoyed two days of Cajun food from the Krab Kingz food truck out of Louisiana July 19-20 when the truck set up shop at the Burnet Municipal Airport. A proposed temporary food truck court was presented to Burnet Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday, July 23, but was denied after a 4-2 vote.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

The Burnet City Council entertained the possibility of establishing a temporary food vendor court at the Burnet Municipal Airport during their regular meeting Tuesday, July 23. While the topic generated a lot of discussion, the council ultimately voted down the idea.

Seen as a possible source of revenue for the city and an opportunity for pilots and other visitors to enjoy unique food in a clean, appealing area, the food vendor court was brought to Council the weekend after Louisiana's Krab Kingz food truck visited in the proposed area and proved to be a popular destination for residents and visitors.

In addition to Krab Kingz, food vendors such as Chick-Fil-A of the Highland Lakes; Dian's Char Grilled Hamburgers and Potato Haus, both from Burnet; and Tacos Amigos of Marble Falls recently expressed interest in setting up shop in the area.

City Manager David Vaughn, who presented the idea to council on behalf of Airport Manager Leslie Baugh, stated that the idea could be beneficial to the city, generating $300 to 400 per month in revenue per vendor; vendors would be self-sustainable and not require utilities; and would provide aesthetics to the town.

“We would need to develop rules to keep it clean and nice,” Vaughn said. “It is a beautiful corridor, and we would want to protect that.

Vaughn referenced the successful outcome of Krab Kingz’ visit when discussing the court.

“We have some neat ideas to make it more of a park,” Vaughn said. “Even in 100 degree weather, sitting under the oak tree, it was beautiful.”

New Planning and Zoning Commission Board member Jennifer Wind, appointed the same evening, came forward to defend the court. Wind, a food truck owner, stated food trucks are one of the larger growing industries and experienced seven percent growth in the last year.

Wind referred to the difficulty of building brick-and-mortar restaurants, compared to the simplicity of a food vendor court in an easily accessible part of town.

“Citizens are demanding options,” Wind said. “It is not tacky; it is modern, and something you can control as far as aesthetics.”

Council member Danny Lester voiced his concerns about competing against Mojo Coffee owner Forrest Jackson, who has made moves in developing a similar food court on property off Texas 29. Lester made the motion to deny the food vendor court.

“I think we should let Forrest try before we do something,” Lester said. “It is not the city's place to take away from a private business.”

Council member Tres Clinton, who works at the airport, reciprocated Lester’s views and suggested the City of Burnet wait to pursue a food vendor court until Jackson tested his own plans.

“As much as I would like to have food where I work, I would feel guilty trying to kill what Mojo is trying to do,” Clinton said.

Council member Mary Jane Shanes called the airport food court proposal a “no-brainer” and voiced her support for it along with Mayor Crista Goble Bromley, but the rest of the council voted against it. A motion to deny the food truck court passed by a 4-2 vote.

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