Municipal Code "Special event means carnivals (limited to the operation of ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, whips, automatic rides or devices mounted on trucks), circuses, menageries, motion pictures, and outdoor festivals and tent shows."
If the proposed changes are approved, a special events license holder would have to "bear all municipal costs" for police, fire, health and public works expenses associated with an event. The City Clerk, in consultation with the appropriate department heads, would estimate the cost after granting of a license but before the event. The applicant would then be asked to provide a certified check for the estimated costs no later than 10 days before the first day of the event.
The funds would be held in escrow and any balance returned to the license holder. In case the funds were not sufficient, the license holder would have 30 days to pay the balance. If the clerk does not receive the certified check 10 days in advance, the license shall be considered forfeited. The proposed new fees are "separate and apart" from any fee for the license itself.
Special events would be limited to no more than three days and would have to close by 11 p.m. each day.
A somewhat controversial part is that applicants, except for governmental and related agencies, would be limited to one special event per year. Last year, two nightclub owners wanted more than one event each. One held celebrations for both the United States and Central American Independence Days. The other wanted a rodeo in addition to a Central American Independence Day celebration, but the rodeo plan did not even get put up for a vote. While presented as cultural events, the celebrations have been perceived as commercial enterprises by some residents and have generated noise complaints for amplified music.
The ordinance is up for first reading Monday at the regular City Council meeting, 8 p.m. in Municipal Court.