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September 24, 2018

Fulton’s Food Trucks Take Heat From Competitors


FULTON, NY — As the summer ice cream season cools down, the competition between Fulton’s local brick-and-mortar businesses and the Bull Head Point seasonal food truck vendors appears to be heating up.

Lakeview Lanes owner Mike Tryninski addressed the Fulton Common Council during its first meeting in September and asked city leaders to take a look at what the city charges the vendors who are permitted to sell from food trucks at Bull Head Point.

“It seems to be that we made a big investment in a mini-golf course and some ice cream and the first thing that happened was my tax assessment got raised $100,000,” the small businessman said. “And that would be good and fine if everybody was paying their fair share. But it seems that all the vendors at Bull Head Point pay no taxes. They pay a $750 permit fee for the year, and can stay there and compete against businesses that actually pay taxes and contribute to the city.”

The current assessed value of Lakeview Lanes is $525,000. The business’ 2014 city and county taxes and 2013 school tax amounted to approximately $32,315 according to county real property records.

Tryninski asked the Common Council to look at the fee structure. He noted that without a heavy tax burden “they can charge less and they will have more customers,” he said, adding that the city has created an unfair balance between vendors and businesses.

Currently there are two food trucks at the city owned recreational facility: Shannon’s Hot Dogs and Dingles Ice Cream.

IMG_4011Shannon’s Hot Dogs truck vendor Crystal English said in an interview with Oswego County Today on Wednesday (Sept. 10) that the truck has been doing business at Bull Head Point for 30 years and the permit fee has been $750 a year since she bought the business 9 years ago.

“I think the city should look at the vendor’s permit fee,” English said. “But if they’re going to make it fair then they need to consider what we’re doing here and not compare us to markets like Syracuse.”

“If they do plan to increase the fee we want it to be for the correct reasons and not influenced by outside businesses,” English added. “I would like any increase to be fair.”

Dingles Ice Cream co-owner Paul Cooper said he would not be opposed to a change in the permit fee, but like English, said the city needs to take all things into consideration.

“Whatever they say we’ll have to do,” he said. “We don’t have much control over it.”

Operating five days a week for about four hours a day, and six months out of the year, English said she would not be opposed to a rate calculated on the actual amount of space she uses or the value of her food truck.

“Remember, I move my equipment out at the end of each day,” the hot dog vendor noted. “The businesses down the road can do business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine.”

“If the other businesses are complaining because they have to pay more in taxes, then figure out what we use for taxable space and use that to determine the permit fee,” she said.

English added that calculating the vendor’s permit fee based on the assessed value at Bull Head Point and what she has invested in her food truck might be one way to look at it fairly.

While her truck takes up about 128 square feet of parking lot space and has a value of about $22,000, using the current assessed land value of $330,000 at Bull Head Point and the 2014 tax rates, that would equal about $635 for the half year she takes up space.

As of this year, English and Cooper each pay the city for the amount of electricity they use on a monthly basis.

During the council meeting Mayor Ron Woodward confirmed the vending permits have been $750 annually for a long time and said he asked the council to address this issue before next year’s permits are issued, noting that the lease for Mr. Mike’s is also up at the end of this year and it was also something that would be looked at.

“We leased it for a small amount of money. At the time the council wanted to get someone in there,” the mayor said.

“My personal opinion, because of the focus on the lake, is to keep them there. But it has to be something that’s equitable to everyone,” Woodward said.

Councilors Tom Kenyon and Jay Foster advised Tryninski during the meeting that they would review the process over the next weeks to try to find a balance for all the businesses involved before next year’s ice cream season.

17 Responses “Fulton’s Food Trucks Take Heat From Competitors”

  1. Mike
    September 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    That $32,000 in taxes works out to $5700 County Tax, $11,000 Fulton City tax and the rest is School tax.

  2. Erik Wagner
    September 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Sounds to me Lakeview Lanes has nothing to sell but sour grapes. LL is a languishing business model in a languishing business environment. Food vendors provide a convenient product for a fair price. LL would rather Fulton’s leadership do as they have always done and tax and fee everyone out of business. That’s why mobile vendors are there. If the business environment in Fulton were actually conducive to brick & mortar restaurants or anything else for that matter, I’m sure there would be more of them paying their “fair share” of taxes.

  3. IM Watching
    September 12, 2014 at 2:45 am

    If this was such a lucrative business you would see more food trucks out there.
    Raise the fees so the city can drive them out of the city limits to Granby a few hundred feet away, what is the difference.
    The Governor is offering any business that starts up in NY no taxes for ten years in certain zones so what is the difference?

  4. Linda
    September 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Before the mini golf was built, the food truck was at Bullhead Point … is Mr Tryninski just now realizing that he has competition? … as far as Mr Mike’s goes, what other business has been in there that has stayed for the long haul? … someone is finally in that building that can keep business going and now they may 1) have to move or 2) pay a higher rent (which in turn could push them to look for some where else to go) … Maybe the city should start raising the rents on the homes they own and are renting out … and maybe they should make sure their tenants are keeping the property up to code …

  5. outside looking in
    September 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    The property at bullhead point is meant to be enjoyed via having a view, but when those vending trucks are there they block the view. The space they are taking up is very little but within that little space they should be assessed by placement due to blocking parking and the view of the lake. Put those vendors at the War Memorial parking lot, let people enjoy the area that was built to be an observation area. A way to take care of the amount of money being paid is to eliminate the vendor fee and put a cash register in that is keyed to record all transactions and then the trucks can be taxed (for their use fee) based on productivity. I believe that is what the state does, and I believe is what is supposed to be done at the leased space at bullhead points restaurant but isnt being done.
    Its all about fairness, do the vendors carry the city’s minimum insurance premium for usage of $1,000,000 liability, which I believe is mandated to use the concession stand at the Denesha Field. Does the health department make those vendors part of their normal routine of random inspections? Ive never seen any published finding either good or bad about vendors being inspected.
    The list of items goes on and on.
    The vendors are on prime space and should be moved to spot that is not blocking the reason that property was beautified, the view.

  6. Mike
    September 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    The vendors do have that insurance policy and yes they get
    Inspected every year and it’s in the paper for May.. They
    Both passed. That’s all public knowledge.

  7. linda
    September 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I have been over to bull head point several times this year. the food is good and the price is right and we set and watch the water and ducks while we eat. the hot dog truck has been there a long time. I think we need more venders over there. people aways got to make trouble for other people. just go mind your own business and leave other peoples business alone.

  8. Val
    September 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Does Mr. Tryninski think that if he drives the mobile vendors out of the area people are going to go to his establishment? I’ll be going to the Big Dipper in Volney.

  9. rita
    September 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Talk about fair. I want the spot Mr Mike has $400 a minth free water free heat free garbage no taxes I want that spot

  10. George
    September 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I think one of the problems with Ice Cream at Lakeview Lanes is that if you take kids they see the mini golf, last year I played one game with two kids and it was almost twenty dollars. That is expensive for one game of mini golf, then add in the cost of the ice cream and you are almost at thirty. For a lot of people that is a lot of money, I will say Lakeview Lanes does a great job with bowling and having family specials. They also do a lot for the community and school. I do think the city needs to raise the fees if they have been at the same rate for nine years. Time to update and look at the whole situation again.

  11. Mary
    September 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I think it’s wonderful to see the Bullhead Point area being used and enjoyed finally, whether it be a vendor or a concert, etc. The people are going to go where they want and base their choices on what they are given. The mini golf is cute, but not a big drawing point. And, did Lakeview consider when they built their little ice cream shop, that they may have been taking away from their neighbor, Sweet Inspirations?…..or didn’t that matter then. It’s no different. Your bellyaching is doing nothing but driving people away. Do something to entice your business and make people want to come. Big Dipper hardly had to advertise too much and has established a well reputable business due to customer satisfaction and word of mouth. They give good size portions, the price is decent and cleanly managed. Leave the vendors alone, I will have more respect for you.

  12. Kelly
    September 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Love how lakeview lanes wants to complain about competition when they decided to build an ice cream shop right next to Sweet Inspirations. A taste of his own medicine.

  13. Kristen
    September 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I agree with some of the other posts. Lakeview is getting a taste of his own medicine. It was ok for him to open his high priced ice cream stand while Sweet Inspirations wasn’t doing so well. So, while Sweet Inspirations was vacant, Mike T enjoyed all the profits. Now that Sweet Inspirations is open again, Lakeview isn’t doing so well. Especially when patrons of SI are parking in his lot. Which I might add is why I went to the high priced ice cream stand one night this summer. (It was my first and might add my last time at the Lakeview ice cream stand.) For 2 milkshakes and a sundae it was over $12.00!!!!! Lakeview is looking for a pity party. Leave the food trucks alone, don’t force them out!!! Yes, the City of Fulton should evaluate a few things, but don’t force them out. As far as blocking the view…… I don’t see that as an issue…. just a lame excuse. Keep up the good work Shannon’s Hot Dog Stand and Dingle’s Ice Cream!!

  14. mark
    September 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

    i ate at lakeview lanes i had a julienne salad looked good took a few bites and the ham was spoiled bad had a smell to it and slimy if you have your cooks put food out like that no wonder your complaining about computation so get a cook that can tell when food is bad i have never got a bad hot dog just saying

  15. frank allen
    September 14, 2014 at 12:24 am

    One thing that drives people crazy is when someone has to make-up a story about a business to make themselves look good. So Mark you were at lakeview lane today on september 13th, and got a julienne salad that the meat was spoiled. Well one thing I know is I was in the kitchen all day till 4:30 with the the cook, the cook is a well known cook who does send out spoiled food. If you are trying to make the ordeal at bullhead point sway people to believe lies, then atleast put your last name on your comments. The biggest problem at bullhead point is the price they pay and the fact that there isnt any accountability for all products sold for tax purposes. Why should Lakeview, Sweet Inspirations, The sausage shack, Subway or anyone else that sells food have to pay taxes if they don’t have too. The fees and taxes should be equal all the way around every business should have to pay their fair share. If you want to compare fees, then why does it cost more to run the stand at denasha then the permits at bullhead point. The vender that gets the snack bar has to pay more and be open less hours.They have to have all licences and nys tax ID number, and be held accountable. I have been living in this city for fifty years and watched alot of businesses come and go, so chase the businesses out of the city that pays the most and that supports the community and schools because people find away to make fast money and pay no taxes. No wonder this city is flat broke, wake up you wouldn’t like it if the shoes were on the other foot.

    Frank Allen

  16. September 14, 2014 at 10:29 am

    You see I can put my whole name
    IF want to make comments that You make leave whole name there are a lot of people named Mark.
    I am not drama hate it. I just think you should not get to use things for business any different than the others.
    1_ As for Lakeview Lanes [You really don’ know Mike}
    2_ He won’ t lose his sales he is great with the people
    3_His work place is clean and so are his coolers and supplies are always fresh
    4_As for his Ice Cream Stand The people Love It. I was out their one day heard lady telling different people about how she really enjoyed it, the soft and the prices.
    5_Mike does a lot for the people. The schools the children , benefits, birthday parties, and many more .
    6_Before you Judge Mike and his business weigh the facts, he is a great person along with his family.
    Sorry Mike you may be upset for me putting this am really sorry, when people write lies that makes me angry , and cant put their whole name.

  17. Janice Hennessy
    September 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I have just seen this…people need to do something different with their time than complain. Facts are facts. Maybe we should concentrate on the fact that we need sustainable employment in the area. Or, all the kids that need help reading and having decent meals available. How about the number of pizza places and hairdressers that seem to be cropping up on every corner. There are 11 houses for sale, and 2 empty houses from Broadway to 176 on SR48, the same in the other direction. Everybody has favorites for different reasons, in our climate, having a welcoming spot to get a bite, and sit under the Pavilion, can only be a positive point for Fulton and the renewed Lake.

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