Commission makes changes to proposed ordinances

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Safety Initiative Program (SIP), a new commission tasked with studying safety ordinances, continues to meet with positive results.

Following a public meeting involving students, SIP members made some changes to the two ordinances under consideration and are still tweaking them.

“What we are looking at here is a short term solution to a very long term problem,” Minden Association President Jason Smith said.

One proposed ordinance involves a curfew for juveniles (persons under 18 years of age).

According to the proposed ordinance, “curfew” means a regulation to restrict outdoor activities of juveniles in the city between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day, except Fridays and Saturdays, on which days the curfew shall be in force from midnight until 5 a.m., except on designated holidays, on which days the curfew shall be in force from midnight until 5 a.m.

SIP members are adding specific holidays into the ordinance.

Designated holiday exemptions are: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter.

Special dispensation is also being added to cover events, such as the fair, church events and other similar events where parental guidance is involved.

“This ordinance is not to harass kids on the street,” said Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper. “It’s to keep everyone safe – the kids and the public.”

The second proposed ordinance requires permits or rental agreements for use of parks and city-owned property if the event includes more than 25 people.

One change adds Facilities Manager and Recreation Manager to the Building Official as persons authorized to issue permits on certain facilities.

Another addition gives the manager or police the ability to close down an event if the organizer, his agents, employees or any of his/her attendees violate terms or conditions set forth by the permit or rental agreement.