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Aldermen clear way for Cotton District Arts Festival


City of Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and City Attorney Chris Latimer discuss amending city code 30 to allow transient street vendors in Starkville.



Jeff Clark



The Starkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday voted to support the 2012 Cotton District Arts Festival, approving street closings and in-kind services. 


"The organizers are requesting some street closings and some in-kind services," Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said. "The requested streets are to be closed from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. the day of the event. The streets that have been requested are in a written letter from the organizers." 


Vice Mayor and Ward 2 Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk questioned Starkville Area Arts Council members Emilie Cravens and Maggie Bjorgum on the probability of mass transportation for the festival. 


"This is a well-attended event," Sistrunk said. "Will there be a shuttle service available?" 


Cravens said parking will be available at the university, where a shuttle will transport festival attendees to the Cotton District. 


Ward 5 Alderman Roy A. Perkins requested the board move a previously scheduled hearing on transient vendors to the consent agenda, which the aldermen unanimously passed. The aldermen amended city code, allowing transient vendors in certain parts of the city. 


"If the board wishes, we are going to waive the public hearing and place this on the consent agenda," Wiseman said. "This is a proposal to amend Chapter 30, which hasn't changed much since the first two public hearings." 


Wiseman said he had addressed some concerns from business owners regarding the type of signage allowed by the transient vendors. 


"Some businesses were concerned about how signage would be affected," he said. "The other thing that has changed is that the vendors can't be in one area for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour time period. The transient vendors, whether they be food carts or others, can only be in certain areas. We don't want them going into residential areas." 


The festival, which includes a combination of live music, activities for children, food vendors and artist booths, is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012 in Starkville's historic Cotton District. 


The Starkville Board of Aldermen again will meet on March 20.




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