GRAVE gets access to Groveport Town Hall

The paranormal research group, Ghost Research and Verification Experiment (G-R-A-V-E), has received permission to hold an educational demonstration of their equipment and techniques in Groveport Town Hall.

"As long as they are abiding by all the rules and regulations and are not a threat to the public order they should be allowed the room rental," Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon told Groveport Village Council at its Nov. 17 committee of the whole meeting.

Council previously rejected three requests by G-R-A-V-E to hold its class. In October, the group’s original request to hold their class in the Groveport Cemetery was denied because council felt it would be inappropriate to hold such an event in the cemetery. The officials maintained their denial of the request at council’s Oct. 27 meeting. Then, on Nov. 10, council denied the group’s request to hold its class at Groveport Town Hall feeling it was an inappropriate use of the facility.

Shannon informed council that its Nov. 10 vote to deny G-R-A-V-E the use of Town Hall was a vote that expressed council’s sentiment on the issue and not a vote on whether to allow the room rental contract. He said approval of such contracts falls under the authority of the village administrator or the village administrator’s designee, not council.

"The applicant met all of the requirements," said Shannon who added the room rental would be approved so long as Town Hall is not used as subject matter for ghost hunting for their class.

Tim Martin of G-R-A-V-E has stated that the proposed demonstration is not a ghost hunt but, instead, would involve showing how paranormal researchers use digital voice recorders to record "electric voice phenomena." Also demonstrated would be digital cameras and video infrared cameras, which are used to "pick up things the naked eye can’t see." He previously noted the class would be limited to 40 people.

On Nov. 10, Groveport Community Affairs Director Linda Haley noted G-R-A-V-E has been holding its private club meetings at Town Hall for a few months. She said the group’s request to use a Town Hall room for its class fell under classification of education, which is a classification other groups have used to hold classes in the building. She added other uses of Town Hall have included arts, crafts, education, travelogues, church groups, community groups, Scout groups, and political groups.

"The only rule we have is that we make sure (room rental) contracts are legally followed," said Haley. "There are no problems if a group is respectful of the building, pays their fee, and takes care of the building."

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