Lima council hears concerns about permit

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — While few official actions were taken during Lima City Council’s Monday night meeting, councilors did get some idea of what might be coming down the line from those addressing the legislative body.

During the privilege of the floor, Fraternal Order of Police Lima Lodge President Darrell Ball’s quick speech got councilor’s early attention. After hearing about city council’s efforts to create a special gathering permit program, Ball said organizations like the fraternal order of police that rent out venues have some questions about what the final ordinance would look like for the city.

Councilors have been floating the idea to create a program that would help the city better control and police large informal parties that turn violent, and an early draft for a special gathering permit program used by Chattanooga came to council’s attention recently, which requires permits for those holding parties with over 50 attendees at commercial venues.

During a committee meeting held last week, council requested that the city’s law department begin putting together a similar first draft for the city.

Ball voiced a number of concerns about such a permit program and asked that any legislating that is done on the topic be done “in a patient manner and with due diligence” so that it’s intention to eliminate dangerous shootings doesn’t interfere with commercial venue owners.

Later, Councilor Jamie Dixon asked that those with concerns come out when the ordinance is discussed in further detail 7 p.m. March 16 in council chambers.

“If you think it’s affecting you, come out and voice your concerns. We are the ears to be your voice in the end, so please, that meeting is taking place in these chambers. We’ll be talking about that a lot further,” Dixon said.

Another potential program discussed in council chambers on Monday was proposed by ArtSpace/Lima Executive Director Sally Windle. While music, arts and theater often get most of the attention in the larger cultural community, Windle said, there’s a contingent of writers and poets throughout the region that don’t have the same limelight. For that reason, Windle said she is working to put together an application process for a poet laureate position for Lima to highlight such talent.

For now, Windle said that ArtSpace will be fielding applications for a poet laureate, and she hopes to be able to present a qualified candidate for the establishment of such a program in the future.

Other committee reports given by officials during Lima City Council’s Monday night meeting include Visit Greater Lima Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Civil Service Board, Crossroads Crisis Center and Community Development Block Grant administrators.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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