Street To Close For Councilman's Party

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

A block of South Grove Street in Glenwood will be blocked off for eight hours Saturday, May 11, to provide parking for a party at the residence of a Glenwood City Council member.

By a 3-1 margin, the city council approved Craig Florian’s request to have traffic on Grove Street shut off between Coolidge and Green Street from 3-11 p.m.

Council members Susan Hircshman, Steve Fornoff and Cheryl Evans voted to approve the street closure. Kay LeFever voted against the motion. Florian abstained from the vote.

Florian said the party will be a 15th annivesary celebration for he and his wife, attended by more than 100 people. He said he had promised his wife they would have a wedding reception in Glenwood after being married 15 years ago in Las Vegas, but never got around to putting the celebration together.
“It’s a personal ceremony we’re having,” Florian said. “This is the angle we’re looking at to try to prevent a problem.”

Florian said the Mother’s Day weekend event shouldn’t conflict with any graduation parties because Glenwood Community High School’s commencement ceremony is the following weekend. He also said he’s spoken with his neighbors and they’re “OK” with having the street shut off. He said the celebration itself will take place at his residence and the closed section of Grove Street would be utilized exclusively for vehicle parking.

Council members discussed Florian’s request before a vote was taken. Neither the council members nor mayor Kim Clark could recall a street being closed for a private citizen in recent years. A portion of north Vine Street was closed for an afternoon last summer for a church-related “block party.”

LeFever said she has concerns about the precedent that will be set by allowing the street closure.
“The problem I see is with private citizens now wanting to close off their streets because they’re having a graduation party or a garage sale,” LeFever said.

Fornoff said he’s not opposed to blocking off streets for private events, but would like to see the city adopt an ordinance that requires a permit and fee to cover costs associated with setting up and removing barricades.
Florian said he would pick up and return the barricades for his event from the city maintenance garage.

In another business item on last week’s city council agenda, Mayor Clark voiced her dissatisfaction with the way the transition has taken place for turning city ballfield mowing and upkeep over to the Glenwood Park Board.
Part-time city employees Jerry Shaw and Ronnie Johansen handled most of the mowing, dragging and striping of city fields last summer, but the duties have been turned over this year to the park board. Clark and some other city officials were apparently expecting both Shaw and Johansen to be utilized this season to help train park board personnel who will be taking over duties at the fields.

City administrator Brian Kissel reported to the council the park board would have its new full-time employee, Todd Peverill, doing much of the work  with some guidance from Shaw, leaving Johansen without a job.
At the request of public works director Perry Cook, the council passed a motion to retain Johansen as a part-time employee of the city to do mowing for the street department and at the ballfields if needed.