Update Thursday 5:05pm
The City of Mobile says there will be no parade permit fee increase for the upcoming 2019 Mardi Gras Season. According to spokesperson Laura Byrne, the issue is simply being discussed now to explore any potential impacts for the future.
Original Story Thursday 1:30pm
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile’s parading Mardi Gras organizations could soon be paying more to hit the streets in the Port City. According to one organization, Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste has proposed to increase the city’s parade permit fee five times, to $5,000.
Chief Battiste met with leaders of local Mardi Gras groups on Wednesday night to discuss the proposed increase. Sources inside Mardi Gras Organizations say many groups were outraged with the proposed increase and that such a sudden, steep increase could prevent many from parading. The groups at the meeting reportedly told Chief Battiste they could probably handle an increase to $1,500. Battiste told the organizations he would discuss the issue with Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
Laura Byrne, a spokesperson for the City of Mobile, confirmed Chief Battiste met with organizations to discuss a proposed increase. But, she told News 5 “no specific amount has been determined at this time.”
Mobile Police released the following statement in regards to the meeting:
” The Mobile Police Department held a meeting with the Mobile Mardi Gras organizations yesterday (Oct. 24). The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate discussion about possibly increasing parade permit fees. It was an open-floor discussion, which also allowed Chief Battiste to explain Mardi Gras operating costs.
At this time, no decision has been made regarding an increase. However, Chief Battiste will relay all concerns from the meeting with the Mardi Gras organizations to the Mayor’s Office. A determination will then be made on if there will be an increase implemented this upcoming Mardi Gras season, and if so, what that increase will be.”