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Finance Committee votes to wave fees for Veteran’s Day Parade


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Members of the Roswell City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously passed a motion Thursday to waive fees associated with the use of city services and personnel to put on this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade and celebration.

The request for the waiver came from American Legion Post 28 — the organizers of this year’s parade and celebration — in conjunction with organizers of the Brave K Run. The request will then advance to the full committee that will vote on it.

The Legion wanted the fees to be waived that the city would have charged organizers to cover the cost of police and fire department staff and vehicles, barricades, cones and light-up traffic signs, traffic cones and the cost or erecting and tearing down barricades.

Without the city waiving the fees, organizations must pay to use city property or services, the Legion would have had to raise money to cover the costs.

“I highly encourage you to waive the fees so we can have this parade be a success,” Rowland told the committee before the motion is made.

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The parade will run from Main and Fourth north to Ninth and Main streets and then onto Stett Field at the New Mexico Military Institute, where NMMI will be holding a celebration marking the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I.

A Brave 5K Run as well as a ceremony at the war memorial out in front of the Chaves County Courthouse will precede the parade.

Rowland said the parade will work to honor living veterans, especially the last local World War II veterans who are now in their 90s.

Businesses and organizations supportive of military veterans will also have the chance to participate in the parade, Rowland said.

Jamie Ferrio, commander of Legion Post 28 said for local veterans, the parade is more than just another funding item.

“It is important to that veteran that is out there and say ‘wow they recognize me,’ ” Ferrio said.

Councilor Grant said that while he has opposed waiving fees for organizations, veterans are in “a different class” and he supported waiving the fees.

This year will be the first the Legion will take on the task of organizing the parade. For the past 17 years, Rita Kane-Doerhoefer organized the parade with a group of volunteers and the help of MainStreet Roswell. After Kane-Doerhoefer opted not to organize this year’s parade, MainStreet Roswell decided to step up to manage the parade.

Recently, it was announced Legion Post 28 would lead the effort to put on the parade.

Councilor Jacob Roebuck said he was glad Legion 28 decided to organize the parade.

“These things are an important part of our community and who we are, but they have to be led by the right people and made me so happy when I heard that,” Roebuck said.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh, a veteran himself, said while he supports honoring veterans with the parade and 5K Run, he wanted to do so in a way that would lessen the impact, and that rather than using streets the 5K run should be moved onto the city’s trail system.

“I don’t think we have to do it this way,” Kintigh said. “I would like to see us if it were possible to have less traffic impact so we can use fewer officers and have less strain on these young men and young women who are carrying a tremendous burden.”

Barbara Gomez, 5K Run organizer, said she and other organizers looked at moving the 5K run to the trail system, but that would still have to close off some streets.

Michael Trujillo of Legion Post 28 said they will look at working on implementing some of Kintigh’s suggestions in next year’s parade and celebration.

Alison Penn contributed to this report.

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