Letter to the Editor: "City of Rockport Proposes New Special Event Permit Ordinance"

A 14-page draft of a proposed city ordinance may require all special event producers wishing to host an event on city property to go through a formal written and reviewed permit submission process that requires specific information; such as, planned use of electrical and audio equipment, emergency precautions, vendors/vehicles information, water & signage usage, litter control, etc. The proposed guidelines require a permit request be submitted no later than 60 days prior and no earlier than 160 days prior to the event. Under the proposed ordinance, several processing fees would be charged: "$100 will be charged for nonprofit groups and $200 for any other group. Also, all groups will be required to pay a security deposit of $300, refundable after the event if the property is “free of litter and property damage," says Tom Staley, Parks and Leisure Services Director. The proposed city ordinance is in reaction to, according to Staley, "increased interest" from groups wanting to hold special events within Rockport city limits, which require city resources such as the police/fire departments, litter clean-up, as well as impact private citizens (due to parking, loud music, etc.) who may live in close proximity to where the special event is being held. (Source Information: Rockport Pilot 5/31/13)

UPDATE: A meeting was held today (June 6, 2013) at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commercelead by Tom Staley and City Manager Kevin Carruthwhich was intended to gather input from several local organizations and citizens who might be significantly affected by the newly drafted ordinance. The city assures that the draft is only the first step toward creating a more organized approach for events being held which impact city property and resources.

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