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Council Absences Delay Moving On Camping Ban Ordinance

Louisville’s Public Safety Committee did not discuss an ordinance Thursday that would ban overnight camping in small city spaces due to two excused absences.Mayor Greg Fischer proposed the ordinance earlier this month after evicting Occupy Louisville demonstrators from Founder's Square in April. The city allowed several demonstrators to camp at the Fifth and Jefferson location for months after it was determined the space wasn’t regulated by Metro Parks.The demonstrators left willingly, and Fischer now says the ordinance will close the loophole the movement exposed.Committee member Tina Ward-Pugh is one of several council members who say they’ll support the ban.“I do plan on voting for the ordinance. I think that it’s our responsibility to be stewards of public property and public land," she said, echoing previous sentiments of co-sponsors Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Madonna Flood, D-24.Ward-Pugh said she supports Occupy Louisville but a ban is a reasonable solution to the public safety issues and infrastructure damage caused by the encampment.