BLANCHESTER — The three big parades in Blanchester won’t have to worry about payments.
During Thursday’s Blanchester Village Council meeting, three of the village’s biggest parades — Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Homecoming — were exempted by council from having to pay costs per an ordinance that passed in August.
Blanchester Chamber of Commerce President Mike Malott spoke to council about exempting their Fourth of July parade from payments, saying having to pay would hurt the event.
“As you can see, we’re not a profit center. So, this jeopardizes the entire event each year if this comes up. This is not something that’s going to come out of the chamber,” said Malott.
What they would have to do if they aren’t exempt is to collect donations from chamber businesses.
“It’s just not a profit-generating thing. This is not why we do it. We’re not paid to do it. We put hundreds of hours in it. To me this is not the chamber’s event, this the village’s event,” he said.
He added that anyone who has been a part of this parade knows what it means to the community — and it’s more about the civic pride.
Councilmember Cindy Sutton told the council that a Wilmington woman informed her how much the Fourth of July parade means to her family. She said the woman’s family from Cincinnati will meet up for the parade and spend the day in Blanchester.
The ordinance in question states that any group which wants to hold a parade or something similar “shall obtain a permit to do so from the Mayor of the Village of Blanchester.”
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 the each department’s head for what they see as necessary for the event. The mayor also has the ability to reject the request/permit.
According to the ordinance, the purpose of the ordinance because the events would require more than what the village can provide on a day-to-day basis.
Board of Public Affairs Manager Jim Myers approved of the three parades being exempted.
Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt added he was afraid that exemptions would happen when the ordinance passed, and that it would weigh heavily on the police department’s already cut budget.
Mayor John Carman added he would hope for an earnings tax or police levy that would help with police expenses.
Also during council:
• Local Richard Braley received his Tree Commission Academy certificate after a presentation he gave during the meeting. The Academy was created by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Forestry Division and provides formal training to volunteer tree commissioners, public managers, and elected officials in Ohio. According to the ODNR website, the objective is to “produce comfortable, confident, and knowledgeable ‘graduates’ capable of helping their community effectively meet its urban forestry mission.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574