in its regular october. At its March 3 meeting, the Lexington City Council conducted a first reading of two potentially impactful items and unanimously approved both items.
The council is considering making Juneteenth an official holiday in towns and easing restrictions on food trucks. A final vote on both is scheduled for the next meeting of the council.
If approved, Juneteenth will become the town’s 11th official holiday. The holiday will be celebrated on June 19, or the nearest weekday if it is a weekend.Lexington will join nearby cities like Columbia, Ilmo, Casey and Orangeburg to establish the day to celebrate the liberation of America’s enslaved people
“We should celebrate that, we should celebrate the people who live in our communities,” Mayor Steve McDougall said. “People who work in this town want to celebrate that and we should give them the opportunity to do so.”
This holiday costs about $7,000 to $10,000 per year, which is a typical range for a holiday in the city, although it can fluctuate. Most of the cost goes to the Lexington Police Department and another portion goes to utility workers.
“Sometimes you spend money because you have to, and sometimes you spend money because it’s the right thing to do,” McDougall said.
Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday last year. Since then, at least 24 states and the District of Columbia have followed suit.
Changes to food truck regulations will expand the number of food vendors allowed on a property, currently capped at one to four per year depending on the size of the property. If approved, the changes would allow the business/property owner to apply for an annual permit, which would allow any food truck to operate on the property, as long as the owner obtains consent from any restaurant within 200 feet.
The council emphasized that every truck must have a business license and pay a hospitality tax to the town.