Canonsburg council puts off reconsideration of July 4 chairs

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CANONSBURG – Canonsburg Borough Council on Monday briefly considered adjusting the time when residents can put chairs along Pike Street for the annual Fourth of July parade, but decided the issue “needs a discussion that’s somewhat lengthy,” according to Councilman Rich Russo.


Last month, council prohibited the placement of chairs on Pike Street, along with chains and yellow crime-scene tape to reserve spots, until 6 a.m. on the day of the parade. The move was prompted after chairs started appearing this year almost two weeks before. Council, and some downtown business owners, argued that the plethora of chairs, chains and tape were a hazard to people using the sidewalks, while opponents said council was trampling on a goodwill-generating tradition.


At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Joseph McGarry made a motion that the time be moved to 48 hours before the parade, and it was seconded by Councilwoman Fran Coleman. However, the motion was withdrawn after council decided it needed to explore the issue more thoroughly.


“It sounds like there’s going to be a compromise of some kind,” McGarry said.


Some council members maintained that council should stick with its original plan and not allow the chairs until 6 a.m. on parade day. Both Tim Bilsky and Paul Sharkady said council should take a wait-and-see approach with that time. “You see what it’s evolved into,” Sharkady said.


Borough Manager Terry Hazlett said two lawsuits had been threatened this year after people stumbled over the chairs, and Russo explained “the basis of the change was a public safety issue.


“We need to iron out the details,” he said. “And we’ve got 10 months.”


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