November 30, 2020

County changes public property use rules after Confederate rallies

Prompted by a recent spate of Confederate rallies, a Mississippi county is changing how public property can be used for events.

During Monday’s regular monthly meeting, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors amended its facility use policy. Lafayette County will now require a 30-day notice instead of the current five-day advance notice required by anyone who wants to use county buildings, such as the courthouse, for an event.

Other changes include payment of the facility use fees. Fees will accrue on a per hour use of facilities, and, if the event will impose unusual law enforcement and traffic issues, the Lafayette County sheriff will make an assessment to determine the relative cost of those circumstances. Event organizers will be required to pay this on top of the facility use fee.

Additionally, a restriction on the length of poles and sticks used for flags and banners was added due to safety. Any masks and clothing used to conceal identities will be prohibited.

The board also banned pets or any other animals from future events.

Before the board announced the policy changes, Oxford musician Effie Bert addressed the supervisors regarding the future of the Confederate statue on the Oxford Square where the courthouse is located and asked if there are plans to relocate it to the Confederate cemetery. Supervisors said they had not discussed the matter.