The city commission tabled the approval of an event fee policy, wanting to get input from event organizers and organizations concerning required security deposits and a waiver policy.
“What this policy will do is give us a definitive procedure when people want to host an event in our community,” said Bob Myers, city manager.
For some events, the proposal could mean more than $1,000 in fees — depending on the size of the event. Currently, those events pay a $20 application fee for the closure of streets. The proposed costs include $100 per block for street closures, $7 per sanitation cart and $5 per picnic table. The draft proposal was documented in a letter, with a copy of the policy that was mailed to the Newton Kansan and to event organizers.
The proposed fee structure also contains a $20 per block fee for the closure of residential streets, a per-foot fee for the use of crowd fencing, water fees, electrical fees, $5 for each street barricade used, $2 for each traffic cone used, $50 per day for message boards, a per foot fee for the use of snow fencing and $5 per day per picnic table.
Also on the list are $150 per hour for site cleanup and $75 per hour for street cleaning. Security would cost $40 an hour for a police officer and $20 per hour for a reserve officer. Fire and EMS standby is listed at $100 per hour.
Myers circulated a proposal for fee waivers at the last city meeting in July, one that would soften the blow of the proposed fee schedule. There was no decision made Tuesday, though the commission voiced support for what was brought forward.
Myers proposal first defines events in two categories — community and private events. For community events, all charges would be waived except for fencing and security for areas in which alcohol is served, for licensing for alcohol service or an area where admission fee is being charged. The proposal would also charge for dedicated police and/or Fire/EMS service.
A community event is defined as “including community festivals, concerts and similar event which are open to general public, with our without an entry fee; charitable fund-raising events; and events conducted by local governmental entities.”
A private event is defined as “business events for employees and/or customers; block parties; family reunions; and other events for a specific set of invited guests.”
Any event defined as high risk — meaning they attract more than 3,000 people, rodeos, concerts, fireworks shows and others would be required to put up a $1,000 security deposit. If city cleanup crews are not needed after the event, the deposit would be returned.
On other business the commission:
• Recognized Jon Adkins, school resource officer, who won the Kansas Juvenile Officers President's Award.
• Recognized Mike McConnell, who was named the Kansas Association Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year.
• Recognized Amy Bunton and city staff who donated more than900 items to a school supply drive to support the Harvey County Salvation Army.
• Approved closing the parking lot at West Broadway and Main and providing trash cans from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23, the Makers Fair.
• Approved closing Fifth Street from Poplar to Plum, providing trash cans and traffic cones from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 30, for the Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K to benefit the United Way.
• Presented the 2017 Residential Yard of the Year Award to Curtis and Chris Allen, 314 Glendale Avenue.
• Hosted a budget hearing. The proposed 2018 budget would raise the mill levy an estimated 3.43 mills if approved. The commission voted to approve the budget for publication, which sets a budgetary limit. The city can make budget reductions, but not additions, once the budget is published.
• Received a report on the rural water tender project from Chief Metzler. The department received a truck to use as a water tender for free. The department will invest about $5,000 in the tender.
• Appointed Kathy Valentine, Leroy Koehn, Barth Hague and Bob Myers as voting delegates and alternates for the League of Kansas Municipalities Annual meeting Sept. 16 to 18 in Wichita.