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Commissioners want to solve problems with roadside collections

Mar 29th, 2013 | 0

By DOTTY NIST

County commissioners will look at revisions to rules applying to roadside activities such as the collection of donations along county roads.

There was a discussion on the matter at the March 26 Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting at the Walton County Courthouse.

District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander said that citizens contacting her had been of the opinion that the busy spring break period was a bad time to be allowing groups to collect donations along the road.

The county has an ordinance governing roadside activities on county roads, and groups intending to solicit funds on the roadways are required to obtain a permit. Comander said it was her understanding that one group recently collecting in south Walton County did not obtain a permit. It was reported that recent roadside solicitation activity had resulted in blockage of traffic and resulting problems.

The ordinance disallows roadside collections on holidays. Comander suggested also prohibiting such activity on weekends and during spring break. She also urged for a permit to be granted for only one, not multiple locations.

District 5 Commissioner Cindy Meadows commented that some groups were standing in the middle of the road to take donations and that this practice is very dangerous. The ordinance allows participants to be present along the right-of-way, but they are not supposed to stand in the road or block traffic.

Mary Nielson urged for staff to require the name of the organization involved to be included on the permit application. She also was of the opinion that the organization should be researched to make sure it was a legitimate one and that the money collected would benefit Walton County rather than going to another area.

The commissioners directed staff to work on revisions along the lines of those proposed in the discussion. The proposed revisions will be brought before the BCC in public session at a later date for consideration.

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