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Local

BBQ competition sparks discussion at city council

Request for street closure in July prompts questions

Morris City Clerk Carol Adair (left), Mayor Dick Kopczick and city attorney Scott Belt during Tuesday's city council meeting. The quick meeting granted two requests and discussed a third.
Morris City Clerk Carol Adair (left), Mayor Dick Kopczick and city attorney Scott Belt during Tuesday's city council meeting. The quick meeting granted two requests and discussed a third.

MORRIS – Plans for a local church’s barbecue competition led to the only discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Morris City Council, and it resulted in the request being tabled.

Life Church Morris, housed in the old Anderson Theater on Jefferson Street, requested permission from the city to close down a block of East Jefferson Street from Liberty to Franklin streets from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 27 for a barbecue competition.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is it is a main artery going west,” Morris Mayor Dick Kopczick told the council.

The location would require rerouting traffic around to streets either north or south of Jefferson Street for the day.

In the past, churches have done similar events on a Sunday when there is less traffic, Kopczick told the council.

The block is located in front of the church. Life Church Morris purchased the theater in September.

Several ideas were discussed by the council members, including requesting shorter hours, blocking only half of the street and offering the city parking lot in front of the Morris municipal building.

The last one proved unfeasible, however, because it would push out a weekly farmers market.

Police Chief John Severson suggested offering Franklin Street from Jefferson to Jackson streets, which is on another side of the church but not a main thoroughfare.

Other Morris summer event staples – 3 French Hens market and Cruise Night – are not taking place that day. Another suggestion was to let the church use Canalport Park.

The council ultimately decided to talk more with the church to see if there could be other ways to host the event and will take up the issue again at its next meeting.

In other business

The city council approved a request from Bonnie Latta of Bone-ifide Care to host the 15th annual Doggie Easter Egg Hunt from 9 to 11:30 a.m. April 13 in Good Park.

The council also approved a request from the Morris Downtown Development Partnership to use various city streets during the Liberty 5K Run/Walk beginning at 5:30 p.m. July 3.

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