For years the sound of classic children's songs making their way through the streets of Marietta had children flocking to the ice cream truck.
Citing liability concerns, the city of Marietta has put a halt to the vehicles delivering the summertime treats, citing safety concerns if children run into the streets.
Ordinance 722.02, passed in 2009, prohibits the solicitation of business from city property although it apparently hasn't always been enforced. City council recently pointed out the law to vendors.
"(Vendors) are not allowed on the streets," explained Marietta city councilman Harley Noland, D-at large. "The only thing that's allowed on the streets are trucks that are delivering goods that have been ordered."
Despite the city's move to prohibit the traditional summer treat from making its way through the city, one area resident has petitioned to set up shop at parks.
Elisha Tornes, owner of Penguin ParadIce, which sells Sno Biz shaved ice, has asked Marietta city council if a stationary shop would address the safety issues.
"If they're concerned with liability, there is no issue if we're stationary," Tornes said.
Tornes has been parking her Penguin ParadIce van at the former location of Movie Gallery at the intersection of Seventh, Greene and Pike streets in Marietta.
She said she understands how council could be concerned about the safety of children, but noted drivers of ice cream trucks are also looking out for children.
"We want to make sure the kids are safe. That's our No. 1 goal," Tornes said.
Noland said he is in favor of allowing Tornes to sell the shaved ice when the van is stationary.
"I don't want to limit business," Noland said. "I'd like those businesses to operate, but we want to do it in a safe manner."
Marietta city councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, has suggested a temporary test where Tornes could park her van in certain city parks such as Lookout Park, Buckeye Park, Indian Acres Park and Flanders Field.
City council planned to discuss the matter with city law director Paul Bertram.
By law, city council has the authority to issue an exclusion to businesses such as the ice cream trucks so they can sell their products on city streets.
For that to happen, an exclusion must be drawn up and it go through three readings, which means it likely won't happen until at least the fall.
Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said he would not be in favor of an exclusion, and pointed to the fact that hot dog vendors were prohibited on city property last summer.
"You've got to be consistent," Vukovic said. "If we allow one type of vendor to operate on city streets then we have to allow them all."
Vincent resident Ken Barth operates Albo's Ice Cream with his family, and has run his trucks through Marietta in the past.
Barth went to the city health department to apply for a permit to operate in the city for the summer and was told then it was against city code.
"We're still going to try to get the thing changed so we can get an exception or whatever to be able to come back to Marietta," Barth said.
Barth has two ice cream trucks he takes through Belpre, Vienna, Parkersburg and Little Hocking.
Belpre Police Chief E.D. Clevenger has offered to serve as a reference for him, Barth said. Barth hopes to meet with Marietta Police Chief Brett McKitrick to talk about the ordinance as well and if there is a way to change it.
"If not, it's fine. We've got a lot of places we can go, but we would like to include Marietta," Barth said. "If they want us back, we'll be there. If they don't, we'll be somewhere else."
Along with concerns about the safety of children, who might rush into the street to greet the coming ice cream truck, Vukovic also questioned whether the sale of ice cream to children might contribute to childhood obesity.
Barth said he completely disagrees, noting that it's not like children get the summer treats every day.
"We're not going there all day, every day," Barth said. "I like to try to keep it where we're just in certain neighborhoods one time a week."