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Bailey looks to retain food trailer licenses

A Lawton man has gone to court in an attempt to reinstate his food trailer licenses.

Sterling Bailey, who previously operated Bailey's Fish & More on Northwest 2nd Street, has filed suit in Oklahoma County District Court alleging that the state Department of Health and the City of Lawton worked together to close his business and keep him from reopening it.

Bailey, who formerly operated a truck at Fort Sill for three years, said he moved his catfish restaurant trailer to Lawton and set it up at a permanent location at Northwest 2nd Street and Columbia Avenue, with connections to water and sewer and with a bathroom and other facilities for staff.

 Bailey said state health inspectors continually cited him as being in violation of state law because his trailer did not move every 12 hours or return to a commissary as required for mobile food vendors. The health inspectors eventually revoked his license in January 2016, he said.

Bailey contends that the Health Department should have issued him a permit for a fixed food trailer instead of harassing him. Instead, the department told him "there are people out there" who don't think he should be allowed to be up at that address, Bailey said in his lawsuit, and the department began sending three or four inspectors to his business at a time, twice a month, at peak business hours.

Bailey also alleges that city officials told him that state law requires food vans to move every 12 hours; he contends that state law requires that only for mobile operations.

The City Council last July amended city code to prohibit mobile food service establishments from being located at the same location for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period, although some seasonal establishments  such as snow cone stands  are exempted from the requirement to move.

The Lawton Constitution

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