West View cancels Memorial Day parade; Ross scratches July 4th celebration
Monday, May 4, 2020 | 11:01 PM
West View’s annual Memorial Day parade and Ross Township’s Fourth of July celebration have been canceled due to uncertainties about whether social distancing and other measures to limit the spread of coronavirus will be lifted in time.
“With all the uncertainties and the cost and planning involved in putting on this event, it didn’t seem appropriate to commit the time and effort when it appears that mass gatherings will likely not be permitted during the next two months,” said Steve Korbel, president of the Ross Township Board of Commissioners.
Ross typically marks Independence Day with a parade in the afternoon followed by a fireworks display at the community center in the evening.
West View manager Bruce Fromlak said the driving force behind the cancellation of the Memorial Day parade was the state’s decision not to issue a permit allowing marchers to use Perry Highway, which is a state road.
“We could move the parade to another location,” he said. “But after the state turned down the permit, our discussion moved to whether we should be promoting an event that draws a large crowd at this a time.”
The state’s mandated school shutdown and requirements for social distancing also eliminated one of the parade’s “key players,” the manager said.
“The North Hills High School Marching Band is a big part of our parade,” Fromlak said. “But they wouldn’t be able to participate this year, which would be a great loss.”
Ross and West View’s decision to cancel the events was announced during a joint May 1 emergency management meeting.
Information reported by representatives who attended the meeting follows:
• Ross’ emergency management coordinator said the volume of fire calls is down 40% compared to the same time last year.
• Comcast, which provides television and internet service to Ross, has extended its shutoffs and late fees until June 30.
• Eleanor Peet, Ross Township’s director of parks and recreation, recommended reopening trails and open spaces pending the transition of the state into the “Yellow Phase” on May 8. But the director is recommending that picnic pavilions and playgrounds remain closed.
• Staffing at Ross/West View EMS is stable with only one part-time employee in a precautionary quarantine that will be reporting for duty this week, reported Bryan Kircher, the ambulance service’s director.
Kircher also reported that call volume is down by about 20% but has been increasing slowly over the past week.
Additionally, the ambulance service has sufficient supplies, including personal protective equipment, but is stocking up to handle a possible increase in the number of covid-19 cases.
• The start of Ross’ street paving program has been delayed until June.