by BETH ALTENA
When a carriage company began doing business in downtown Rockford, the City realized they had no regulation in place regarding such operations. Traditional carriage and hayrides included in City celebrations have always fallen under the permitting process of special events applications. On Monday, May 14 during the regular City Council meeting, regulation for carriage services, hayrides and other horse-drawn services was approved unanimously.
City Councilman Jerry Coon questioned whether the new regulations would have any effect on services offered during Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Start of Summer Celebration and was assured the new regulation—along with a $200 season application fee—would not apply to or affect the Chamber or any other festival organization that goes through the City permit process for special events.
The regulations cover how hard horses can be worked, where they have to be during rest periods (on private, not public property) and other specifics regarding safety, sanitary concerns and hours of operation. The regulations also established violation policy.
“This allows the public to enjoy these types of services without violating public space,” said City Manager Michael Young.