RIDGELAND — Aldermen have begun preliminary discussions on how to deal with food trucks, with a short conversation at a work session last Monday.

Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said this is something officials are actively working on, but he does not see taking any official action as an urgent issue.

“We think it is an interesting prospect for the city, but do not see this as something that absolutely has to be done right away,” Smith said.

He added that they want to make sure any action that is taken is done right.

“You know as far as passing a city ordinance or something like that it is something we are still discussing,” Smith said. “We want to ensure that we have a quality product in Ridgeland that does not hurt or interfere with existing brick and mortar establishments.”

He said that they had some rough drafts of what an ordinance might look like, but nothing they were ready to present to the public for a public hearing.

Community Development Director Alan Hart echoed that a Food Truck Ordinance is “merely up for discussion.” He said that he has seen “some food truck activity in Ridgeland” and that his office has received “additional interest” but saw the issue as something that needed further evaluation.

“The challenge is to seek a balance that aligns with the interests of our bricks and mortar store locations,” Hart said. “It will take more time to evaluate this concept.”

Of the 11 food trucks listed on the Mississippi Food Truck Association website only one, Chunky Dunks Sweet Truck, claims Madison County as home. Many others are based out of Jackson.

Food trucks have participated in multiple outdoor events in Ridgeland and have been prominently represented locally at events in Canton, Lost Rabbit and all over Jackson.

City officials first mentioned the prospect for codifying food truck guidelines into law during a January 2017 meeting when they approved a conditional use permit for  Rusty Chandelier at 588 Century Place in Ridgeland to operate their antique vendor market venue.

The Chandelier regularly hosts events with multiple vendors and said they were interested in hosting live music and food trucks in the future.

At the time Mayor Gene McGee said they looked forward to the possibility of someone wanting to do something different in town, but expected as the events drew closer the city would move to make amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance concerning food trucks.