City of Midland Proposes New Ordinance Regarding Parade, Special Events Permits

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The City of Midland is covering all of their bases when it comes to issuing permits for parades and other special events.

City leaders unveiled a proposed new ordinance aimed at clearing up any confusion and keeping people safe.

This comes two months after the deadly train accident involving a parade float that left four veterans dead and over a dozen people injured.

The ordinance that's nearly 60-years old is getting re-vamped.

On Tuesday, Tall City leaders voted to approve a new ordinance that they say clearly outlines the process for getting a permit for a parade or any other special event.

"Felt like today was really important that we get it in writing exactly what the process is, who gets it, particularly what can they do with those things," Midland Mayor, Wes Perry, said.

Mayor Perry said the current ordinance is outdated. It's from 1953 and it's just two sentences long.

"The practices that we've had over the last 30 years have developed and we never really had an ordinance to back it up, it's just best practices," Mayor Perry said.

The proposed new ordinance is over a dozen pages and way more detailed.

A permit will be required for any organization wanting to hold a parade, race, festival or anything of that nature on a public street, alley or sidewalk.

A map showing the area and or route of the special event must be included with the permit application.

Organizers will be required to get insurance covering the event.

This means the City of Midland cannot be held liable in the event of any negligent accident.

But the biggest change in the ordinance? The City Manager will not issue any special event permit for any special event proposed to cross over any railroad tracks.

"That is a very big difference and feeling like that's what we needed to do," Mayor Perry said.

However, the City Council can but organizers will have to contact the railroad company themselves. They will then have to show proof they received permission to cross the railroad crossing from said officials. The same procedure goes for events involving state highways.

"All those details we wanted to get really clear and make sure we were doing it so everyone understands the rules," Mayor Perry said.

Mayor Perry said the changes aren't a direct reflection of the train accident, it's just something that needed to be done.

"I really can't comment until the grand jury is finished with their investigation but the point is it's the right thing to do," Mayor Perry said. "It's safer, it makes perfect sense."