Council holds the fries
April 13, 2012
POWASSAN – An additional employment opportunity for youths could be setting up shop shortly.
“I will certainly have a hand in it, but I’m hoping to hire some students,” said eager entrepreneur Angie Punnett.
Punnett’s application for Track Side Fries came forward at council’s last regular meeting held on April 3, having been reviewed by municipal staff.
The proposed seasonal business venture would be located at 548 Main St., which is currently a vacant lot in the vicinity of Oshell’s valumart, and would operate out of a portable building until Oct. 15 of this year.
Council deferred making a decision regarding a business license application until more information on the plans can be obtained.
“I’m for every type of business, but every type of business needs to be treated equally,” said Coun. Steve Eide during the meeting.
According to Eide, the land was previously the site of a gas station. He said there were issues of contaminant leakage. Eide said he supports the business in principal.
“It’s not the business. It’s just the location,” he told council.
Coun. Roger Glabb agreed that parking is an issue.
According to Punnett, the land was never used for a gas station, adding that it had housed a chip truck years ago. She said she has already met with the appropriate parties, including the Health Unit, in order to acquire the appropriate approvals and licences. She said there have been no issues. She said she was surprised to find out the application was deferred after being given the seal of approval from municipal staff.
“I don’t see any particular policies that would hinder that,” she said when asked if she thinks her application will eventually be approved.
As far as the issue of parking, Punnett said because her business is mobile, she is only required to have one parking space per four patrons. She also noted there is parking both on the property, as well as on the street.
According to Clerk-Treasurer Maureen Lang there hasn’t been a chip truck or similar business in Powassan for years, noting there had been a similar style of take-out restaurant located at The Beer Store years ago.
Punnett said she developed her plans for Track Side Fries based on a chip stand her extended family had owned during her youth.
She said she chose the location, which is a privately owned vacant lot that is zoned commercial, by process of elimination.
She then purchased a chip truck, which is now sitting in her driveway waiting on council’s decision.
“At this point, with no return on it, the truck is a huge investment for us,” said a disappointed Punnett.
If given the green light by council, Punnett plans to serve up a number of traditional roadside foods from the truck, including hamburgers, hot dogs, Pogos, and ice cream.
“My husband and I both work full time, so this would create an employment opportunity for local kids for the summer,” she said.
The next meeting of council is April 17. Punnett said she will be available on that date to make a presentation to council if needed.
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