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Published September 20, 2011, 10:18 PM

GF Panhandling Ordinance Could Affect Fundraisers

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The City Council wants to change the rules for people who hit the streets for money.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The City Council wants to change the rules for people who hit the streets for money.

One council member said he has received a lot of calls about panhandling because it is becoming a safety concern.

"There's an awful lot of traffic and people crossing the roadways to get to the median and stopping cars. It's dangerous," said city council member Curt Kreun.

Now the City Council wants to change an ordinance and limit where panhandlers can go. Other groups would be affected by a new ordinance would make people stay on the curbs and prohibit them from going on the medians.

"We would collect $1,000 in front of stores, but when we'd hit the streets it went up drastically; $7-10,000 we collected," said Darren Schimke, president of the Grand Forks Fire Fighters Local 242.

Schimke and the Grand Forks Fire Department have raised money for muscular dystrophy for years.

"Unfortunately with this ordinance we may not be able to collect as much," he said, worried about future fundraisers.

Schimke said he and his fire fighters union will have to adapt and work with the council to help avoid injuries and car accidents. One way could include fund raising in different spots, or advertising more.

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