Misunderstood, 22-year-old ordinance goes viral among truckers

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Updated Jun 28, 2018

Map of west BuechelA 22-year-old city ordinance in a small Kentucky town went viral among truck drivers online this week, creating confusion and frustration among trucking community members.

The City of West Buechel, a 0.6-square-mile town located outside of Louisville, has had the policy in question in place since 1996. Businesses who receive truck deliveries may pay a $125 annual licensing fee and the city then provides those businesses with stickers to distribute to the drivers who are delivering for them. With that sticker, a truck driver can park or sleep in town without a problem because they have made an in-city delivery.

Drivers who park or sleep in town without such a sticker are subject to a $25 citation, per city policy. However, if they are making or did make an in-town delivery, they can call city hall and explain the situation, and they can have the citation voided. The $25 citation does not increase in cost with repeated offenses; it remains $25 for each offense.

The licensing fee is an optional business license and is not mandatory, Assistant City Clerk Ariana King said.

“It’s a pre-emptive measure to make sure any and all of the trucks that the business may use to come down here won’t get ticketed,” King said.

This photo of the unloading license application was posted in a trucking Facebook group.This photo of the unloading license application was posted in a trucking Facebook group.

The policy was created to discourage truckers who weren’t making in-city deliveries from parking their trucks within town limits. King said the small town of just 1,301 people cannot accommodate those truck drivers; only those making deliveries within city limits.

“It’s not that we don’t like truck drivers. We just can’t harbor them in our city. We’ve never been able to,” King said. The Walmart in West Buechel is one of the few Walmarts that aren’t open for 24 hours, which “really does throw a lot of truckers off because most of them are 24 hours and most of them have semi-friendly parking and then you’ve got this one out of nowhere and it kind of throws people off.”

The text of the ordinance reads: “Deliveries made within the city limits. Any person, firm, or corporation selling and/or delivering directly for sale (including, but not limited to retailers, householders, wholesalers and distributors) food products, hard goods, clothing, or any other items for resale or individual uses, shall pay an annual license fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00). (Rev. 5-99)”

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A Facebook post about the ordinance, posted by a truck driver, was making the rounds through trucking groups early this week. Many truckers interpreted the ordinance as saying that they have to pay a $125 fee to deliver to the area, but King reiterates that that is not the case.

“That is not at all what is required of these truckers when they’re coming to our city,” King said.

“If that trucker is delivering his own goods, then that would be different. But if he’s delivering goods for Walmart, then Walmart is liable to pay that, not him,” she added about the licensing fee.

Still, reactions by some drivers were strong. Members of one Facebook group, Truckers Haven, said:

“They should be paying the truckers to deliver their goods. Don’t sweat it guys! No deliveries for them. Let’s see how long their $125 delivery/unloading fee last then. They are just digging their own hole.”

“Guess they will be short goods then.”

“I guess they are a self-sustaining area and don’t need deliveries. Good for them … good luck with that I say.”

“All truckers need to refuse deliveries to that City. Guarantee it’ll get fixed overnight.”

“Everyone chip in and ask for thousands of stickers. Make it cost them more to print the sticker.”

“Looks like (the) city will starve.”

“The saddest thing is that we don’t know for sure if this is real or not. Most of us think it is possible because the whole world is going crazy, there is no common sense left, the next fatality after common courtesy. Everything is taxed to death, everything always increases in cost for whatever reason … except one thing … our paycheques!”