Resident of a home near the JERKabago operation in Carrying Place, Pat Reid.
(Photo/John Spitters/Quinte News)
There was a heated debate about hot and juicy jerk chicken at a meeting of Quinte West’s Corporate Finance Committee Wednesday night.
The owners of JERKabago, who operated a food trailer and chicken smoker in Carrying Place next to the Sprenkels store last year, had applied for a
permit to operate at the location again this season.
Neighbors Ron and and Pat Reid live close to the JERKabago operation and told the committee that the smoke was covering their house with grease and that the food was attracting skunks, mice, raccoons and other animals into their neighborhood.
They presented a small petition against the refreshment vehicle from others in the neighbourhood, calling it an “eyesore” that is lowering property values.
Owners of JERKabago, Josh Blake and Saiqa Sheikh, said they had received complaints about smoke and long grass but had dealt with the issues quickly and had subsequently passed all inspections from both the health unit and the Quinte West Fire Department.
They asked for a second chance, and proposed they would smoke their chicken in another more suitable location and transport it to the Carrying Place site to be sold to the public.
However, most on the Corporate Finance Committee said they would not want such a business near their homes. Deputy Mayor Jim Alyea said he’d received several complaints last year about the operation and had followed protocol and told city staff about them.
Blake and Sheikh both wondered why he hadn’t bothered to tell them about the complaints, adding that they’d chatted with the Reids and others in the neighbourhood and no one ever complained about their business.
The JERKabago owners felt they were being unfairly dealt with.
However, in the end their application for an operating license was turned down. In favour of denying the application were councillor Don Kuntze, Mayor Jim Harrison, Deputy Mayor Jim Alyea, and councillor Karen Sharpe.
Those willing to give JERKabago a second chance in Carrying Place were councillor Bob Wannamaker, Michael Kotsovos, and councillor Dunc Armstrong.
Quinte West council will make a final decision on the matter at its next meeting.