Summer treats could return to Anoka neighborhoods

This summer you might be hearing something new in Anoka neighborhoods.

The sweet sound of ringing bells of an ice cream truck could be coming to a street near you.

Changes recently made by the Anoka City Council will now allow ice cream trucks to sell in residential areas of the city, something that had previously not been allowed by city ordinance.

An overhaul to the rules regarding licenses for peddlers prompted the change on a suggestion by Councilmember Steve Schmidt.

He said on a summer night the sounds of ice cream trucks can be heard across the river in Champlin, but not in Anoka.

In the past a license would not be issued to anyone selling goods out of a vehicle on any city street.

With the changes approved March 4 by the council, those licenses would now be available for sales in a residential area only.

The changes were careful not to open the door for food trucks to operate in Anoka’s downtown.

At a council meeting last month Councilmember Jeff Weaver said he didn’t want the trucks competing with local the bars and restaurants already paying taxes in the city.

This is why the sales are restricted to residential neighborhoods.

“We want to allow the ice cream vendor to come in, without opening the door too far,” said City Attorney Scott Baumgartner when he presented the changes to the city ordinance. “There was a concern we didn’t want any types of sales competing with our local merchants and bars.”

Under the changes, local churches and schools will not have to apply for a peddler’s license for door-to-door sales.

It’s common for groups to go into neighborhoods selling “A cards,” cookie dough and other items for fund-raising.

“We thought it would be quite onerous for each of these groups to have to come in and go through the registration application process, yet we didn’t want to open it up to anybody,” said Baumgartner.

By limiting that exemption to local groups, he said the city would know who to go to if there happened to be a problem.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]