Portland seeks proposals for food trucks, carts in city parks

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PORTLAND — Interested vendors have until 3 p.m. May 21 to submit requests for proposals to operate food trucks and carts in some city parks.

The process and locations are much the same as last year, with the addition of as many as two spots in Congress Square Plaza.

A change in the ordinance for licensed food truck operations on the peninsula has also opened spaces on Congress Street between Pearl Street and Franklin Arterial, near Lincoln Park. These time-limited spaces are available on a daily, first-come first-served basis, and don’t require operators to submit RFPs.

Under the RFP procedure, food trucks will be allowed on Back Cove Trail, in the Deering Oaks Park parking lot, along the Western Promenade, and in the Kiwanis Pool parking lot. Push-cart spaces are available at East End Beach, Lincoln Park, the Kiwanis Pool parking lot, and on Western Promenade.

Two food-truck spaces are available in Deering Oaks, with one available in the other locations. As many as three food-cart spaces could be available in Lincoln Park, with one in each of the other locations.

Operators must acquire licenses and pay fees of $500 per truck or $295 per cart, along with $35 fees to apply for a new license or $25 to renew an existing license. Operators must also carry $400,000 in liability insurance and pay a $110 base inspection fee for their truck or cart.

To apply, operators must outline their plans in a letter, list their qualifications, experience and references, and propose a price for operating in the area requested.

Proposals will be evaluated based on three criteria: 25 percent for the price quoted, 25 percent for the qualifications of the operator, and 50 percent for the scope of the plan, hours of operation and “technical soundness of (the) proposal.”

Sealed proposals can be sent to or dropped off at the City Hall Purchasing Office, Room 103, 389 Congress St., until 3 p.m. on May 21. RFP forms are available at the office, or by calling or emailing Jim Lobley at 874-8654 or jrl@portlandmaine.gov.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.