Special events ordinances on the table

The Biloxi City Council held a special called meeting or workshop Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposed special events ordinances.

During the workshop, proposed ordinances were discussed relating to special events that are held in the city that affect public safety. The ordinances cover parades, mobile food vendors, recreational vehicle parks, special events, and the storage or parking of heavy trucks, trailers, major recreational equipment, and mobile homes.

“The best I can tell, we are the only city that doesn’t have anything in place for special events,” Police Chief John Miller said during the public meeting. ” We have to have some mechanism in place to handle special events.”

Throughout the year, numerous events are held in Biloxi that impact roadways and traffic, and create large crowds. Currently, the city has a parade ordinance that is often used as a guideline for these types of events.

“I am in favor of us getting something on the books that gives the chief (of police) the authority to take some actions,” Council member Paul Tisdale said. “He really, if I understand correctly, has no basis to take some action under some of the circumstances.”

Annually, organizers such as Cruisin’ The Coast, Gulf Coast Carnival Association, and the Krewe of Neptune meet with city officials to lay out their plans and discuss topics such as traffic, crowd control, and routes. These meetings help with public safety issues but more often than not, organizers do not go that route.

City officials believe that putting rules and requirements in place will give organizers expectations to follow and protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and visitors.

The special events ordinances were first addressed on May 15 in which the items were tabled so that a workshop could be held for future discussion. That workshop was held on May 30.

No action was taken during the workshop. A second reading of the proposed ordinances is expected on the council agenda later this month.

The city council also held a budget workshop and a regularly scheduled council meeting on Tuesday night.
YouTube: See a recording of the meeting
YouTube: See an archive of council meeting recordings
See the proposed agendas
See the city council meeting schedule

News & notes: Weekly report, market festival

The week that was: Every wonder how busy certain city departments are? Check out the weekly reports from the Fire, Police, Community Development, and Public Works departments posted each week on the city’s website. To see the reports, click here.

Market festival: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department will hold a Biloxi Community Market Festival on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Howard and Hopkins. The festival is free to attend and will include market vendors, live music, hourly giveaways, and informational and demonstration booths. To see more about the Biloxi Community Market, click here.