OVERTON — Wanting to make a little money to take their father somewhere special for Father's Day, Zoey and Andria Green, set up a lemonade stand Monday, but their efforts soon were thwarted by government red tape.
The 7- and 8-year-old sisters talked with the Tyler Morning Telegraph Monday in front of their home on Garden Club, where they were visited by police Chief Clyde Carter, who shut down their stand, because it lacked permitting required by the city of Overton.
"Yeah we were a little upset," Adria said. "We wanted to make the money to take our dad to Splash Kingdom for Father's Day," The police came and said we needed a permit."
The sister's mother, Sandi Green Evans, said she was a little miffed about the ordeal and the governement in the city of 2,539 residents.
"Their father works in the oil field and is gone a lot, so this is something they wanted to do for him. Something special. They both wanted to do this on their own, and they are both little entrepreneurs," she said.
Neighbors Charlie Perkins and Nelwin Perry said they were outraged about the situation.
"This was such an innocent endeavor that turned into all kinds of government red tape," Ms. Perry said. "It is upsetting, especially since I saw how hard the girls were working out in the heat."
Perkins said he went to the city offices to buy a $150 peddler's permit, but learned the girls also needed a health department permit.
Chief Carter and Overton City Secretary Rachel Gafford declined to talk with the newspaper on camera, but said laws were laws.
Carter said last month a title company set up a tent in Overton, attempting to offer car title loans, and he had to run them off for soliciting without a license.
"We can't run one off and then let someone else do it," he said.
Carter also said he had safety concerns, since the stand was set up in the "middle of the street" off of Farm-to-Market Road 850. However, he confirmed Garden Club, where the stand was set up, is a deadend culdesac.
Carter said he and Ms. Gafford decided they would waive the peddler's license fee for the Green sisters but said they believed the girls would need a health department permit to sell the goods.
When asked if the sisters could give free lemonade away at a booth in their font yard and accept donations, Carter replied, "I don't guess that would be illegal.
After hearing the news, Mrs. Evans said the sisters will have their booth open from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at their home on Garden Club, and all are welcome to come get a free cup of lemonade.