BocaJump | Jan. 24, 2012
Elements of the changes being proposed by the city administration to Elgin’s practices and policies for special events in 2012 include:
- Five main festivals hosted by the city. Local groups or nonprofits would be encouraged to merge their own events into one of the city’s five festivals. Staff recommends the city would cover the hard costs associated with the festivals such as staging, fencing, portable toilets, trash, security and publicity, enabling the participating organizations to reduce their costs significantly while taking advantage of the larger crowds at a larger event. The five festival weekends would include
- Fox Trot on Memorial Day
- Fourth of July
- Arts Festival
- Labor Day International Festival
- Halloween Event
- Because the city’s resources would go to the five festivals, the city would end co-sponsorship support for noncity events. Organizations choosing to host an event separate from the five main festival weekends would be responsible for all costs associated with their events. These would include all city support staff costs. The rental costs of city facilities or equipment no longer would be waived or discounted.
- To save more than $19,000, there would be fewer “Concerts in the Park” and “Movies in the Park,” and the city would eliminate several smaller events held throughout the year.
- Hours of operation of the Elgin Express Train at Festival Park would decrease.
- City staff would review all ordinances related to special events both on city and private property to identify and correct any inconsistent, outdated or inapplicable policies, and staff would look at how other communities handle special events to find ways to improve Elgin’s processes. Staff hopes to have a new ordinance before the council for adoption later this year with implementation in 2013. The new ordinance could include, the staff memo states, an application fee structure, standardized city fees for special events permits, and payment policies for events.
- Additional guideline worksheets to provide clearer instruction and guidance for each category of special events.
- An informational meeting would be held for all interested groups and organizations in February to explain and discuss these changes.
- Because this is a new and experimental change to special events, the administration recommends that the city manager be given the authority to modify or amend this plan as needed throughout the year.