New Albany approves ban on roadside collections - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Albany approves ban on roadside collections

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- New Albany's city council voted 6-3 to approve a ban on roadside collections for charity.

Bill sponsors had been concerned for collectors' safety, especially at busy intersections like Spring and Silver Streets and State and Elm Streets.

The measure should bring to an end such collections at intersections.

Opponents worried about sudden impacts on local charities, especially the Salvation Army.  Some of its volunteers had said weekend collections could net $2,000 or more at a time.  Local firefighters already have curtailed some of the roadside collections for safety reasons, opting for alternative collections for the Crusade for Children and other causes.

Opponents also worry about other cities adopting ordinances similar to New Albany's.  Louisville, Ky., has had rules in place since the 1990s, including age requirements, safety vests, permits and vehicles with flashing yellow lights to alert drivers.

Some city officials in New Albany said bright vests and orange cones aren't enough to keep volunteers and drivers safe when collecting money.

According to New Albany's Public Works Board, 18 fundraising groups did roadside collections last year. Many used busy intersections like the one at State and Elm Streets.

This decision could cripple some organizations depend on this type of fundraising. The Salvation Army's Maj. Stephen Kiger said last week, "for us, five or six thousand dollars will just evaporate. We've got to find that money somewhere else."

But critics say roadside collections are dangerous for the charities and for drivers. Councilman Dan Coffey believes charities should go back to more traditional types of fundraisers such as car washes and cookouts. He says sometimes people just throw money in a bucket and often don't know what the money supports.

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