Ice cream vendor asks Clearview to cool it on fees

 In Business

The driver of an old fashioned ice cream truck is asking Clearview council to review the township’s Fees and Charges Bylaw to make it more affordable for small operators like himself.
Mohammad Ghandehari, of Richmond Hill, operates the Hola Ice Cream truck in the area and in the GTA and says the high fees make it prohibitive to come to Clearview, despite the demand.
The ice cream truck attends private events and travels to busy communities in the summer.
Ghandehari said he has permits to sell in Wasaga Beach, Alliston and Barrie but those communities charge between $130 and $280 for the year, whereas in Clearview he can either purchase a daily permit for $50 or $1,000 for the year.
He said even in Toronto, the permit is less than $500.
With a small population and gas prices, it doesn’t make economic sense to pay the $1,000 fee.
He is asking council to reduce the fee to $150 per season.
Ghandehari said he receives weekly phone calls from people in Stayner asking when he is coming back and the kids jump up and down with excitement when the see the truck and hear its traditional music being broadcast.
“I can come a few times because the kids love it and families like it,” said Ghandehari, adding that many of his more elderly customers remark they have made their day by reminding them of their childhoods. He said the new generation loves it too, and are building memories.
“What I’m asking is if you could kindly help me to reduce the permit fee so I can come and provide the service to the children and families, and bring them joyful moments,” Ghandehari told council during a July 26 deputation.
Councillor Robert Walker initiated a request that staff evaluate the current fee structure.
“Since we seem to have some discrepancies with regards to neighbouring municipalities with other licensing fees, I would like to put a motion forward to ask staff to review the fee structure on the vendor permits compared with our [neighbouring] municipalities and report back to council,” said Walker. “That way we can look at our fee structure to see if we need to revamp it to a seasonal rate… are our rates too high?”
It was noted that there may be a conflict with permanent businesses that sell ice cream, and it was asked that they be consulted.

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