Blan council debates parade permits

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — An ordinance related to parade permits was debated during Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting.

Councilmember Don Gephart proposed that they revoke the ordinance, passed in August 2017, that made it so any group that wants to hold a parade or something similar “shall obtain a permit to do so from the Mayor of the Village of Blanchester.”

Gephart wanted to set up a committee to come up with a different ordinance that “works better for everybody.” The committee Gephart had in mind would have people from the local park board, school board, chamber of commerce, and American Legion, along with Police Chief Scott Reinbolt and someone from the council.

Councilmember Chad Hollon opposed the revocation, saying, “I think you ought to come up with an ordinance that’s better before you to revoke one that’s already in place.”

Gephart claimed it doesn’t work for everyone, saying that organizations that were grandfathered in still need to pay. Hollon claimed, “It works fine. People just don’t know how to follow it.”

A council vote ended with a tie — Gephart, Gary Bauer, and Richard Simpson voted to revoke, with Hollon, Reilly Hopkins, and Cindy Sutton voting against it. Mayor John Carman broke the tie by voting no.

Carman was open to discussing the issues with the ordinance but thinks it should still be there instead of nothing.

The permit must be obtained through an application from the mayor and approved by him no later than 30 days prior to the event’s date. The group must also pay a deposit for 50 percent of the actual estimated cost when the permit is issued.

When the permit is obtained they must reimburse the village for the estimated costs needed for the event. The costs are estimated by each department’s head for what they see as necessary for the event. The mayor also has the ability to reject the request/permit.

In a March 2018 meeting, the council agreed to exempt three of the village’s biggest parades from paying the costs — Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Homecoming.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574