As city road crews dug out Tuesday from Madison’s latest snowfall — and Mayor Bob Courtney announced canceling Tuesday night’s City Council meeting due to the weather conditions — the Board of Public Works held its regular meeting and took action on a summer event that could face a different kind of hurdle.
The BPWS heard a request and approved a resolution to close several downtown streets along the Ohio River for the 2021 Rockin’ On The River car show and concert scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4.
Rockin’ On The River, like just about every other festival in Madison and Jefferson County in 2020, was canceled last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, costing the local Salvation Army one of its top fundraisers. In approving the event’s return in 2021, Courtney warned Salvation Army Lt. Justin Hartley that depending on the ongoing pandemic, the county’s infection rate in September and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders on crowd gathering, the event could once again face cancellation.
“I’m not sure where we will be on outdoor gathering come September so there will need to be some coordination with the Jefferson County Health Department on a safety plan,” Courtney said.
Hartley, who is dealing with some of those same issues while trying to keep the Salvation Army and its Warming Shelter open during this week’s arctic weather, said he understood and if public health conditions prevented safe gathering, the event would once again be canceled. At this time he could not confirm that the annual car show will be included but concert plans are moving forward.
The area requested for the event includes Vaughn Drive from Jefferson to Mill streets and north on Broadway to First Street from 6 a.m. to midnight. Board member Karl Eaglin asked if the event might be able to get by with fewer street closures if the car show is not included and Hartley said the status of the car show is still to be determined and the request could be adjusted if the car show is not held.
In other business, the BPWS:
• Heard progress reports on several PACE grant projects including midpoint reviews and disbursements for 716 West Third Street , 522 Mulberry and 928 Park Avenue as well as extensions for 505 and 507 Walnut Street and 112 East Third Street.
• Approved a handicapped parking space near 709 East First Street.
• Approved a $904.89 water bill adjustment related to a leak at 2148 Ross Street.
• Applauded the efforts of the city’s street department with winter storm cleanup efforts and local motorists for staying off roads during hazardous conditions so crews can do their work while limiting the number of accidents and calls for assistance. Police Chief John Wallace said his department had worked only one weather-related injury accident so far and those injuries were minor.
“Our street department has done an outstanding job with the weather ... and people have stayed off the roads and that’s good,” Wallace said.