BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Many folks in southern West Virginia remember the sound of the ice cream truck driving into the neighborhood.

Kids would drop whatever they were doing and stand on the line for a snow cone or ice cream bar.

What most kids did not understand was that the ice cream truck was a business and a source of valuable income for the driver.

Another aspect of the business that is typically unknown is the number of permits and licenses that food truck owners need in order to operate.

“Food trucks are awesome, especially for our events,” said Beckley Events Director Jill Moorefield, who plans fairs and festivals for the city of Beckley. “They’re so great to have. Alot of diversity on what they serve. It’s like a start-up for businesses, hopefully that eventually they’ll move to a restaurant. So, it’s a good startup for businesses, to start in a food truck.”

The City of Beckley is the latest Appalachian town seeking to regulate the mobile eateries.
Beckley officials said on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, they are in favor of food trucks and want them in the city.

They are working with a local food truck owner in hopes of developing a fair ordinance.
City attorney Bill File said the new ordinance is not yet crafted. He said he is looking over laws in other state cities and those out of state.

He said the ordinance will define food trucks and will likely require food truck owners to get a permit to operate. The ordinance will also establish the zoned districts where the trucks may operate, he said.

“The city’s just trying to make sure everybody’s on an even playing level, between the food trucks and the restaurants, to make sure everything is safe,” added Moorefield. “It’s not a punishment. To have a business license in the city of Beckley, it’s only $15.”

Food truck owners said some areas of the state can get so crowded it can be difficult to make money, especially if fairs and festivals are overbooked.

They also have to pay for licenses and fees to join street fairs, they added.