The Bishop Police Department is asking residents to weigh in on a suggestion to change the Bishop Christmas Parade route from Main Street to Wye Road and Spruce Street to reduce the overtime officers accumulate when closing Main Street for the annual event. Photo by Mike Gervais
In an effort to save money on overtime pay, the Bishop Police Department has asked the Chamber of Commerce to consider a new route for the traditional Bishop Christmas Parade.
Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter said there are pros and cons to the suggested change and community input will be a determining factor in the decision-making process.
âIn these challenging economic times, every department is looking for ways to cut expenses,â a press release from the Chamber of Commerce states. âBelieve it or not, the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Bishop represents a very significant expense to the Bishop Police Department.â
Carter has asked the Bishop Chamber to conduct a public opinion poll on the possibility of changing the parade route so it would begin on Wye Road and continue southbound behind Kmart and Vons on Spruce Street, terminating at the rear of the City Park where the parade has traditionally ended and other holiday festivities begin.
According to Carter, if the parade were to move off of Main Street/U.S. 395, the Bishop Police Department would save a large amount of money, particularly expenses related to staff overtime to man the road closures and detours.
âWe expend a lot of tax money and city resources to have all-hands-on-deck for the PD to close U.S. 395 for the parade,â Carter said. âIf there is a way to continue the parade with minimal financial impact, thatâs what we want to do.â
Looking at it from both sides, Carter said moving the parade route off Main Street may have a negative financial impact on local businesses, as residents wonât be standing in front of shops.
On the other hand, he said some businesses may do better if Main Street is left open to transient traffic during the parade.
âWe donât have a way to measure the financial impact, thatâs why weâre going to the locals to see what they think,â Carter said.
Officials are hoping to decide the fate of the parade route as soon as possible to allow local businesses and the Chamber to begin making holiday plans before winter.
âIt may seem like the Christmas Parade is way âdown the road,ââ the press release from the Chamber states, âbut weâre actually already getting started on plans. The definite route will need to be chosen by Sept. 1, so donât delay â please send your comments today.â
To comment on the proposed change to the parade route, contact Carter at the Bishop Police Department at (760) 873-5823 or the Chamber of Commerce at (760) 873-8405.