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Rules may improve events

Few methods of attracting people to a city’s downtown business district beat special events such as festivals and street fairs or entertainment. Steubenville City Council members understand that, but they also recognize that simply throwing downtown streets open to all comers is not wise.

Members of council’s Planning Committee plan to meet Nov. 12 to discuss how special events can be encouraged without creating problems.

Some have caused concerns, in the past.

As Councilman Bob Villamagna noted last week, “They’re setting up whenever they feel like it, blocking streets whenever they feel like it.” Some event organizers have taken it upon themselves to block streets, it was pointed out.

Obviously, that will not do.

During last week’s meeting, Councilman Eric Timmons said he believes existing municipal regulations are adequate to control special events.

“They just need to be enforced,” he suggested. “We want to attract people and business, not hamper it in any way,” he added.

Absolutely.

But some limits have to be set for the good of everyone. Blocking access to businesses, by both potential customers and suppliers, is counterproductive. Council members have asked for information on special event rules in Wheeling because, as Villamagna noted, “just about everything is covered in them.”

Perhaps other communities also have good ideas on the subject.

Planning committee members plan to convene their meeting at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, prior to the regular council meeting at 7:30 p.m. We suggest those thinking of holding special events — as well as those who have held them during recent months — provide input to the committee. A few common-sense rules need not be a burden.

In fact, they could add to the successfulness of special events in Steubenville.

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