OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The City of Ocean Springs has approved an ordinance, making it legal to operate ice cream trucks in the city. This week, the first permit was issued to Mrs. T's Tasty treats.
Tansy Jones and Rodney Lancaster own and operate Mrs. T's Tasty Treats, and they are excited to finally be rolling through the streets of Ocean Springs.
"I think it adds a little something cutesy to the community. We already saw them operating so now we're just getting to do it legally, and nobody is going to ask questions," said Jones.
Jones and Lancaster approached the Ocean Springs Board of Alderman about making mobile vending legal in the city back in July, but got some push back from board members about the music from the truck and children's safety being an issue. However, the board was able to come to an agreement and pass the ordinance.
"We're very relieved that everything went as smoothly as it did, and we're definitely excited about getting to serve our community," said Jones.
Residents like Paulette Creel are happy about the new ordinance, because seeing the ice cream trucks reminds her of her childhood.
"I was raised in a neighborhood, we had it all of our lives, and you know the kids just enjoyed it. I think if everybody is careful then it's a great thing," said Creel.
The ordinance states that trucks cannot be stationary for more than 10 minutes, and music cannot be heard from more than 100 feet away.
"The noise to me was bliss when I was a kid, and it's the same way with them [my grand kids]. It's really subdued. It's not anything loud. I was listening to it a while ago, and I thought it's kind of easy to the ear," said Creel.
Jones and Lancaster say they would like to see the music part of the ordinance altered, because being able to hear the song playing from a distance is what gets kids excited about the truck coming.
Applicants will be required to submit documentation from the MS State Health Department certification of both the vehicle and food storage areas. Vendors are also required to collect the two percent food and beverage tax on sales within the city limits.
For businesses with an address within the city limit, the initial permit fee is $50. If the company has a business mailing address outside of the city limits it is considered a "transient vendor" which requires a $250 application fee.
Any questions regarding this process should be directed to the Ocean Springs Planning Department at 228-875-4415.