GLEN CARBON - Glen Carbon is the latest municipality in the Riverbend to ban camping in public following unanimous Village Board approval on Tuesday.

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While Glen Carbon’s public camping ban mostly resembles similar ordinances passed in other local municipalities, Village Attorney Jim Schrempf said it also includes some exceptions during a particular village event.

“The point was raised by Trustee [Ben] Maliszewski that this would appear to prohibit any camping or staying overnight on village property, but we do allow under certain circumstances for people to do that, particularly with regard to Homecoming and … carnival workers,” Schrempf said, adding carnival workers often like to camp near their equipment to protect it. “There are accommodations made for that. We will make sure that those accommodations are documented, and their staying will be specifically authorized in writing."

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While there are currently very few exceptions to the ban, Schrempf said the village may pursue an application process in the future if needed.

“The ordinance does say that camping on village-owned property is illegal unless authorized,” he added. “We need to be a little more diligent about documenting who and when it is authorized, we may need to come back later with an application process, but with that limited exception to the Homecoming time, we don’t feel it’s necessary at this point.”

According to the ordinance itself, its purpose is in part “to maintain and further expand the economic vitality of the Village of Glen Carbon, and to protect the safety of the general public by imposing restrictions on camping on public property within the Village of Glen Carbon.”

Penalties for first-time violations involve a fine of no more than $100, while subsequent offenses committed within 30 days carry a $500 maximum fine. While each separate occurrence or each day of continuous occurrences may be punished separately, all fines imposed under the ordinance may be satisfied through either cash payment or community service.

The Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 28, 2024 to approve the ordinance prohibiting unauthorized camping on public property within the Village of Glen Carbon.

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