RETHINKING: Col. City discusses changes to OSD

COLUMBIA CITY — At Tuesday’s meeting, Columbia City Common Council member Ben Romine said he talked to a couple business owners downtown, and they wondered if the city would ever consider moving Old Settlers Days out of downtown.Mayor Ryan Daniel said this is not the first time he has heard this, as some downtown business owners have strong opinions on the subject.“There have been discussions I’m sure through many many years about that,” said Daniel. “Obviously, it’s a decision as to the placement of Old Settlers that is up to the Old Settlers committee.”According to Daniel, the Board of Works has the oversight as to whether or not to allow street closures.When asked by the council what the advantages to having the festival downtown are, Daniel said it is about showcasing downtown.“Typically, when you have your festivals in your cities and towns, they don’t tend to take place outside on the outskirts,” said Daniel. “They happen in the middle of town.”Romine said in recent years there have been many trailers packed in a small area downtown, making it hard for firemen or policemen to get anywhere when the storm blew through the city June 29.“It does make me wonder if maybe we should consider spreading it out in some way, shape or form,” said Daniel. “If that would allow businesses to not be hidden by trailers and trailers.”Daniel said he believes the layout is something the city and the Old Settlers Day association should consider in the future.