ONEONTA, 06/28/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) recently called on the NYS Department of Transportation to abandon a new special use permit requirement for local parades and community events.
“New York state is infamous for overregulation,” said Senator Seward. “One of my long-standing, top priorities has been to reduce red tape for businesses, schools and local governments, now it seems small town parades and special events also need protection.”
Senator Seward says requirements for a new 33a permit for parades and events that utilize state highways, as well as signage requirements, are cost prohibitive for many small towns and villages and could mean the untimely end of long-standing, traditional parades and events.
Seward specifically cites permit requirements for a traffic control plan, agency letters from law enforcement and emergency services and specifications for banners as roadblocks to local parade organizers. Seward also says he is concerned that the cost of liability coverage for non-profit groups will be prohibitive.
Senator Seward’s letter to NYS DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald states:
“As you know, parades and special events generate significant revenue for our local towns and are an important part of community life. It would be a sad day if such events come to an end because of onerous DOT requirements. While I understand the department’s efforts to ensure public safety, I urge you to reconsider the special use permit policy and the burden that it imposes on our communities.”
“As someone who is proud to march in many small town parades, I would hate to see this piece of Americana lost due to onerous state regulations. We should be doing all we can to foster civic pride and promote our communities instead of erecting blockades that will stifle tradition and bring to an end family-friendly events held across the state. This extra layer of government simply is not necessary and needs to be dropped immediately,” Seward concluded.
The complete letter to NYS DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald is attached.