Ice cream truck owners face roadblock - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ice cream truck owners face roadblock

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

BLAKELY, GA (WALB) - A pair of south Georgia ice cream vendors say they've hit a road block. Rebecca and Chad Teague say Early County sheriffs deputies are hurting their business because they don't like the music coming from their ice cream truck.

The couple started selling ice cream in January, but they say deputies have responded regarding several complaints that the bell on the truck is too loud. The owners say it's just part of doing business. 

Rebecca Teague owns Snacks and More. She and her husband have been selling ice cream and food for several years in Miller and Seminole Counties. They just started in Early County in January. Mrs. Teague says sheriffs deputies have responded to calls that their music is too loud. They just got a ticket Saturday. A deputy initially responded to an argument at their truck. Instead they ticketed the Teagues for violating the noise ordinance.

Georgia code says vehicles can use sound making devices as long as they're for business; however, local authorities have jurisdiction regulating how long and where the business may operate. Early County Sheriff, Jimmie Murkerson, says neighbors complain their ice cream truck music is too loud late at night. However the Teagues say they're usually done by 9:30 p.m. at the very latest. The city says they can operate between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Customers on Hogan Avenue welcome the truck.

"I like ice cream. He's funny and I like to hear his jokes," said Claudia Caesar.

After an incident at a local apartment complex, the Teagues met with the sheriff, recorded the conversation  and sent the tapes to their attorney.

"I was shocked, and I couldn't believe what he said, " said Rebecca Teague. 

Teague says they go into neighborhoods, apartments and trailer parks to serve customers. Her husband says turning down the music could create a safety hazard.

"It draws customers so they know in advance when we're coming," said Chad Teague. "It's also a safety issue so people know they need to look out for children."

The Teagues say they'd like the county to work with them so they can continue to serve people in Early County.

The Teagues say they plan to attend a city council meeting next month to ask officials to extend their noise ordinance hours from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on week days during the summer months.

We spoke to the other ice cream truck owner, Jean Farris, who's served Early County for more than 30 years. He says he usually packs up much earlier, by nightfall. He says he has never been cited with a noise violation.

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