POINT PLEASANT — More and more small cities like Point Pleasant — and those close to it — are having to deal with the issue of panhandling.
This week, after a public hearing with no comments and two readings of the ordinance, Point Pleasant City Council officially banned the practice of panhandling.
Earlier this year, some individuals were observed asking for money at busy intersections. Along with posing a possible safety hazard or intimidating residents, some on council pointed out that there were several charitable organizations in the county that can provide assistance to those in need and are trained to assess those needs. No one can beg or panhandle for money or any other thing of value in a public place within the city now. Anyone violating this ordinance could be fined not less than $50 or more than $250. This ordinance passed unanimously.
Also at this week’s meeting of city council:
Having a Fourth of July celebration in Point Pleasant this year was brought up again. This celebration, if it can be pulled together, will consist of a few bands from 6-10 p.m. July 4 performing in the amphitheatre and some concessions. Mayor Brian Billings and Recreation Committee member and Councilwoman Janet Hartley asked those on council if they had any suggestion for bands or activities to let them know — the city has an extremely small budget for this event, but wanted to offer something for residents on the holiday.
Billings also reported he, Hartley and members of the recreation committee had recently met with Jacob Hill, regatta organizer, about possibly moving the regatta to the July 4 weekend next year. Hill said it is in the regatta’s bylaws it happen the last weekend of June, plus there was the issue of getting vendors who are already on a specific event schedule through the summer. For example, would moving the regatta to July 4 disrupt these vendors who might already be booked someplace else? Billings said whether or not the regatta will be moved to July 4 next year was unknown but called the meeting productive.
Regardless of what happens, Billings said the city will continue to support the regatta with facilities, utilities and trash service, as well as vehicles and overtime for city employees during the event which includes members of the street department and police department.
Councilman Bob Rulen suggested the community be canvased to get a more accurate opinion as to who wants fireworks on July 4 or during regatta weekend.
Council also agreed to support Gabe Roush’s attempt to pursue possibly placing a bike trail in Point Pleasant. No more details were made available, though Roush is to be asked to attend the next meeting to discuss his plan.
More on this week’s meeting in upcoming articles in the Point Pleasant Register.