Not so fast! Parade ‘spot saving’ may be banned

by Marianne Gasaway

City leaders may be pulling the rug out from under those who like to mark their spot for the Fourth of July parade.

Monday night the Council directed City Administrator Scott Flory to draft an ordinance which would prohibit “spot saving.”  Officials noted there was discussion of limiting the time during which items could be placed along the route to save a space in 2019.  However, cancellation of the parade in 2020 due to the pandemic made the action unnecessary.

In addition to being a sore subject for some property owners along the route who are subjected to tarps, chairs and other items placed to reserve a spot— sometimes weeks in advance of the July 4th holiday, the ordinance has gained momentum this year because of Main Avenue road and sidewalk work.

Flory noted the reconstruction of Main Avenue, which included not only roadwork, but new sidewalks from 14th to 20th Street, should be complete by Memorial Day.  Areas will then be hydro-seeded.

“The trend has been for some to place tarps, blankets and other items out earlier and earlier to save spots.  We certainly don’t want those things placed over areas that have been seeded,” said Flory.  He added that perhaps a 12-hour window before the parade might be an option.

The Council could consider making the ordinance temporary or permanent.

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