|By Dan Scanlan & Steve Patterson|
Misunderstanding between car lovers and the city almost put the brakes on a
The Historic Main Street Cruise's organizer had canceled the event and concert after saying city officials told him Wednesday that he would need insurance, security and portable toilets for the gathering of classic cars, hot rods and their fans.
The frustrations, however, have been mounting over the city's permitting process - even derailing some events and leading city administrators to schedule a discussion next week on recent rule changes.
In January the
"It seems like we have made it worse rather than better and that certainly was not our intention," Boyer told the committee.
She said merchants at
Boyer said the city's rules shouldn't become impediments to using parks that could sit idle otherwise.
"Our system of permitting ... is cumbersome at best. We were trying to go the other direction," she said.
The group had planned its event at Friendship Fountain on the Southbank, then learned ongoing replacement of the Southbank Riverwalk would make that unworkable. He said city officials suggested alternate spots downtown and spent an afternoon with him trying to pick a good site - they finally settled on
"I never got the feeling they were trying to push us off," he said. "It was more that they were disorganized."
Another misunderstanding was the number of projected people. Wells said 2,000 ended up on the application but that may have been what was estimated for the 12-block cruise and people coming to watch the Great Race cars. Five hundred aren't expected just for the band.
Wells credited the mayor's chief of staff for stepping in.
Hand said the confusion has been resolved and no permit is needed now or in the future.
"The question is, does this require a special events permit, and under the code this means 500 people or more," Hand said. "But Wells has certified in writing that it will be less than 500. It is a cherished event and there was some concern. ... We are very glad we could make sure it happened."
Great Race Director
Springfield Preservation and Revitalization president
"They like to see the activity; they like to see the classic cars and all the people on
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