By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Fall festivities are not typically debated in early February but Grove City Council is planning ahead.
At the Feb. 1 meeting, councilman and chair of the safety committee Aaron Schlabach introduced a resolution designating trick-or-treat to be held on the last Saturday in October between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m.
“This would be a safer environment for children,” said Schlabach.
The councilman said not only would it be safer because the event would take place when it’s light outside, but it would allow more families to take part in the festivities.
“People are not rushing home from work,” he said.
Councilman Roby Schottke agreed with the proposal and said he thought it would be worth a try. He said some of the sidewalks in Grove City are not in the best of shape and could be trip hazards.
“Daylight would be safer for the kids,” he said.
Not all council members and city leaders were on board with the change.
Grove City holds its Beggar’s Night when most other central Ohio communities hold the event. This date and time are typically set by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).
“We need to be a good community partner with MORPC and other central Ohio communities,” said Christine Houk, council president.
Bill Vedra, the city’s safety director said trick-or-treat night is safer throughout the region if all communities are on the same page. Though he did say that the Grove City Division of Police could handle the change in date and time if the council chose to do so.
Grove City Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad said there are problems with an alternate event date. She said one issue is that families are busy on Saturday afternoons in the fall. Kids have athletic games or practices, and many people want to watch Ohio State football games. In addition, Conrad also said there is the issue of people using Grove City as a second or bonus trick-or-treat.
“Other communities have tried similar measures and there are issues,” said Conrad.
Councilman Ted Berry said he too was worried about city neighborhoods “getting flooded” with people from other communities coming over to get extra candy.
Councilman Randy Holt introduced an amendment to the resolution that would accept the trick-or-treat schedule set forth by MORPC but designate the last Saturday of October as a fall back date in the event of inclement weather, which would be determined by the Grove City administration.
According to Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage, that is “not a simple matter.”
He said determining what is inclement weather is not an easy call, nor would it be easy to get the word out to the public that the date and time has been changed for just one community.
Ultimately, council voted against the amendment and against the resolution to change the trick-or-treat date to a Saturday afternoon.