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Mitchell Passes Road Block Ordinance - Ferrell Votes Against It

Last updated on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell City Council passed an ordinance regulating roadblocks, Tuesday night.

But one city council member, Everett Ferrell, voted against the ordinance.

"I don't feel like we should limit the number or organizations wanting to hold roadblocks," Ferrell told the council. "I feel we should either do away with them all together or leave it alone. If you (citizens) are opposed to the roadblocks they can drive around them, there is more then one way into town....doing it this way, someone is going to be shorted and we are showing partiality to some and doing away with others and that will hurt our community."

Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel told the council she is not supporting the ordinance to hurt groups.

"But people and business owners don't want to see roadblocks every weekend," Schlegel says. "We have been talking about this since October. It is our job to listen to the majority of people in town and they don't want to see this every weekend."

Mayor Gary Pruett agreed and says most think roadblocks are a trivial thing.

"But it is not," he says. "This is a significant change and it has amazed me by the variety of opinions on this topic."

The rest of the council approved the ordinance, with Ferrell voting against it.

After February's council meeting, the list of those wanting roadblocks was filled within a few hours after the news broke that the council was going to limit the number of roadblocks that could be held.

Those request will now go before the council for approval.

The rules

The ordinance will allow organizations 2 roadblocks per year and 1 per year per school organizations.

Roadblocks can be scheduled from March to November, except the week of the Persimmon Festival. They will be held on the first and third Saturdays of the month at only the 4 point intersection.

The council will only approve 15 road blocks per year.

Groups must also obey all rules drafted by the council and wear reflective vest provided by the city and have property signage. That signage must be placed 250 feet from intersection of Main Street and Teke Burton Drive, the only location where roadblocks can be held.

Roadblocks can be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and those participating must be of high school age or older and only one person can stand at each of the corners at the 4-way-stop.

Those wanting to schedule a roadblock must register at city hall and then have their request approved by the council approval.

Groups who violated the rules will not be approved for future roadblocks.

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