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The upcoming New Haven Bunco tournament sparked debate between event organizers and local businesses at the city’s Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday.
Bobbi Jo Nalley, who is helping organize the tournament, had presented the idea at last month’s meeting. The tournament is scheduled for May 18. Scott Weakley, store manager at IGA, expressed concerns about parking to the commissioners and Nalley, saying Sundays are busy days for him, and he will not tolerate blocked access to his business. Commissioner Donnie Cecil assured Weakley that customers would still be able to access IGA from the south end.
Weakley inquired as to where parking would be, with an unknown number of vehicles expected.
Nalley suggested allowing parking at the New Haven Ball Park or school and possibly shuttling participants from those locations to Main Street.
Weakley asked why the tournament could not be held at the ball park or some location that did not require blocking off a portion of the road, but Nalley intends to bring in business to downtown and gain attention to that area.
Donnie Cecil mentioned that, regardless of parking control efforts, “people are going to park where they want to park.”
David Nalley intervened with concern over parking at Simms Park for fear the traffic would tear up the recent electrical work done on the property.
Bobbi Jo Nalley argued that the damage would be worth the charitable donations being raised by the tournament, but the commissioners agreed it would be in the best interest of the park to rope off the location and prohibit its use for tournament parking.