BALLSTON SPA - The state Department of Health said Sunday it is looking into the circumstances surrounding a family's report that a state Department of Health inspector shut down a lemonade stand outside the Saratoga County Fair Friday.
Nonetheless, a spokeswoman for the department issued an apology to the boy and clarified the department's stance on lemonade stands.
"While we work to confirm the inspection was performed by DOH staff and the surrounding circumstances, we offer Brendan an apology for any inconvenience," spokeswoman Jill Montag said in the statement. "We are working to better understand the situation but in the meantime want to assure the community that DOH does not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands."
Monday Update: State: Boy's disputed lemonade stand outside Saratoga County Fair requires permit, July 30, 2018
The Mulvaney family of Ballston Spa spoke to The Gazette Saturday and recounted how a woman wearing a green shirt that said New York state Department of Health on it walked into the family's backyard and asked if son Brendan had a permit to sell lemonade.
The family lives across the street from the fairgrounds and allows fair-goers to park on their lawn for a fee, about half of which they donate to charity. Son Brendan, 7, ran a lemonade stand from their back porch.
They said the woman walked up on the deck, looked around and said they needed a permit for the stand. They didn't get the woman's name, but she took the family's information and tried to take a picture of the boy and the stand sign. The mother, Jodi Mulvaney, said she then told the woman to leave.
The family decided to stop selling lemonade, changing it to a donation-based stand. Word then spread on Facebook.
- Foss: Children should feel free to sell lemonade, July 30, 2018
- Cuomo urges deal on Ballston Spa lemonade stand, July 31, 2018
State Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, got involved Sunday by visiting the boy's stand and issuing a statement where he referenced Sunday's Gazette story.
"There’s nothing that says America more than apple pie and kids running lemonade stands. What has our state government come to?" Tedisco's statement reads in part.
Tedisco said he will reach out to the state Health Department himself to protest the closing of Brendan’s lemonade stand. He is also researching whether legislation is necessary to protect child-run lemonade stands.