Blan passes parade ordinance

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — A village parade ordinance passed after weeks of discussion.

During Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting — held via the Zoom app and live-streamed on the village Facebook page — members approved an ordinance on parade and assembly regulations.

“Any costs that (Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt) incurs for the parades will be appropriated back to his budget,” said Mayor John Carman.

The three parades and events were BHS homecoming, Fourth of July, and Memorial Day. Carman advised that the Blanchester Chamber of Commerce indicated they handle some of the costs for events outside of the parade, mainly the day before the Fourth and the fireworks.

Carman advised that the Chamber has decided to cancel their Fourth of July festivities this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before putting a vote to the ordinance, Councilmember Don Gephart wished to discuss it. Gephart had received an email from Lisa Beach of the Blanchester Chamber of Commerce.

“She said this (ordinance) would be a burden for (the Chamber) right now,” said Gephart, who agreed with the ordinance except for measures with the Chamber.

Gephart told the council he wanted them to look at it in two years and change it. Specifically, he’d like to still fund the other aspects of the Fourth of July celebration.

“The Chamber may not even be able to afford it next year. Because the people that pulled the funding from them that funded the fireworks … and the Chamber’s not going to be able to have the funding,” he said.

Councilmember Chad Hollon thought they should leave the ordinance alone for now.

“There’s no reason to burden the village with all the costs of (the Fourth of July celebration). The Chamber isn’t even having one this year. So, they should have funds from this year to carry over,” said Hollon.

If they need funds, the Chamber can ask the council to reconsider, Hollon indicated.

Councilmember Harry Brumbaugh echoed similar thoughts, saying the changes can be made later down the line.

The ordinance was passed in a 4-1 vote. Gephart voted against it, Councilmember Richard Simpson abstained, and the rest voted in favor of it.

Also during council:

• Due to the pandemic, the village-wide yard sale set for May 7-9, was canceled.

By John Hamilton