By MELINDA WILLIAMS
It seems holding a parade in Dublin takes more effort than it used to take.
Town Manager Bill Parker said he learned Nov. 7 that the old method of receiving parade approval from Virginia Department of Transportation would no longer suffice.
“I used to just write a letter to (VDOT Residency Maintenance Manager David Clarke) requesting permission and he would write me back and say it was approved,” said Parker. However, new regulations require the town to file for land use permits to hold a parade.
“We’re used to doing that when we’re going to dig a waterline in the (street) right of way,” he said.
It seems parades require two permits: an LUP-A and an LUP-SP. Essentially, the “A” permit allows the parade to occur within the street right of way and the “SP” permit places all liability on the town, according to Parker.
It’s unclear whether Dublin will have to pay the normal land use permit fee of about $40, but Parker thinks it will be waived, based on an email he received from VDOT.
The changes don’t end there, though. Parker said he also was required to obtain a letter from County Administrator Peter Huber supporting the town’s desire to organize and hold a parade. Dublin’s Christmas Parade is slated for Saturday, Dec. 15.
So, under the gun, Parker obtained the letter from Huber Nov. 9 and the town’s application was submitted to VDOT’s district office in Salem the same day.
Now, Parker is just waiting to hear back from Salem whether the permits have been approved; and he’s hoping the process is faster than a lot of government decisions.
Parker says he doesn’t know what will happen if the permits aren’t approved or not approved in time for the Christmas parade. He’s just thankful the parade had to be moved a week later than normal to accommodate the high school band’s schedule.