“It seems that a large number of groups — nonprofit groups, educational groups — are turning to these as a fundraiser,” said Street Commissioner Philip Verdung. “But we have also received massive numbers of complaints from residents and business owners that have trouble getting in and out of their location during these events, and we are trying to find a balance.”
The city is going to continue to allow the slate of races that were held last year — a total of about five.
For any others that come up, “City streets will not be an option,” he said. “However, we are going to try to work with any additional organizers to find them another suitable location — maybe a local track or somewhere that won’t involve the closure of our streets.”
One new request is currently on the table.
The events put demands on the street department and police department and often arise with little notice. Last year, the city learned of a couple of events when the plans were published in the newspaper. Accountability for damage to city infrastructure is another concern.
The city plans to review its ordinances and review the practices of some other cities to consider whether some changes should be made regarding permits, insurance and requirements “so we can get the adequate notice when these events come in and protect our infrastructure and resources,” said Verdung.
Carnivals and fairs may also be part of that review.
The issue was discussed in Friday’s special meeting of the Board of Aldermen.