Mitch Peters enjoys parking his truck in Monument Square, selling ice cream to visitors and giving real, townie directions to tourists.
“I’ve been doing this truck for about 20 years now,” Peters said. “It’s not just an ice cream truck. It’s part of the community.”
When people ask him for local advice, he said he always sends them to local businesses.
But, as in earlier years, he faces a potential challenge this year form the National Park Service.
“In order for a commercial operation such as a stationary vendor to be permitted on National Park Service property in Monument Square, we would have to allow the general public to participate in an open bidding process for that business opportunity,” said Sean Hennessey, a spokesman for the National park Service, in an email.
“Mr. Peters would also need to obtain a Stationary Vending License from the City of Boston, which he does not have,” Hennessey added.
Peters could get around the issue by driving his truck to different locations, but he said that poses a challenge.
The truck dates back to 1984, Peters said, and it struggles with gas mileage. Driving it to different locations throughout the day could get prohibitively expensive, he said, and other locations just aren’t as lucrative as the monument.
Most of his business comes from kids on field trips, he said, and he estimates that only about half of those children make the trip from the monument to The Training Field.
Hennessey said that The National Park Service would never "want to get rid of" Peters’ ice cream truck.
“We understand that he is beloved and respected and the service he provides to the community is highly valued in the neighborhood” Hennessey said. “That was made very clear to us at a public meeting hosted by the Charlestown Neighborhood Council on June 24, 2009 and has been reinforced to us by Mr. Peter's many friends and supporters.”
In the mean time, Peters said, he and the National Park Service are trying to work out an agreement.