published Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Jasper, Tenn., eyes parade for veterans

JASPER, Tenn. — City officials and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6362 are working to create an annual Veterans Day parade in Jasper.

The only real sticking point is insurance coverage, officials said.

Police Chief Tim Graham said the city's insurance company has told him in the past that if it's not a city-sponsored function such as Jasper's annual Christmas parade, a group has to present insurance coverage for it.

The Marion County Fair had planned a similar parade several years ago, he said, but it was canceled because of insurance problems.

"I support [the parade]," Graham said. "I have no problem with it, but you've got that insurance question as far as liability if something were to go wrong."

The cost is "quite a bit" for a group to get the insurance coverage required, he said.

"I guess that would be the question," City Attorney Mark Raines said. "If the town sponsored the event, would it increase our premium or would our coverage have to change?"

Mayor Paul Evans said he plans to contact Jasper's insurance provider to find out what it would require for the parade to take place.

"I am definitely all for it, being a veteran," he said. "I think it is something we owe veterans. The only time we pay recognition to them is a Memorial Day service."

Alderman Leon Rash said if the cost of the insurance for the event is reasonable, he would be happy to see it come to Jasper.

"If you see a veteran, I think you ought to thank them," he said. "I think we ought to accommodate them in any way we can."

VFW member John Carson said Post 6362 has been working to be more involved in the community and trying to support the community with various events such as the parade.

"We're proud of our organization," he said. "We have been planning on doing the parade, which we've never had before."

If the insurance issue is worked out, the parade tentatively is set for Nov. 9, and it would follow the same route as the city's Christmas parade.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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