Special events held on city streets could get costly for the applicants if a proposed ordinance is approved by the Waukesha Common Council.
"If the city deems that the event requires additional city personnel, equipment and services to address issues including but not limited to traffic control, security, clean up, sanitation and safety, the applicant shall pay the actual costs for the use of such personnel, equipment and services," according to a proposed ordinance.
The ordinance change would affect all street closures from Freeman Friday Night Live to the Waukesha Christmas Parade and the Memorial Day Parade.
The exact financial impacts are unknown.
The majority of the ordinance changes come from a downtown taskforce’s recommendation, including a requirement that event applicants maintain commercial liability insurance.
The proposal brought questions Monday night at the Ordinance and License Committee from a few aldermen and downtown stakeholders who want to see some limits to the street closures in Waukesha.
Alderman Duane Paulson said he likes seeing more responsibility placed on event organizers.
"The person applying is going to be responsible," he said.
Downtown resident Victoria Hekkers wanted the ordinance to also have a point of contact for when there are problems with events, such as streets closing early or safety hazards.
"We are firing up kilns on the street with few barriers," Hekkers said.
Downtown bar owner Jeff Barta, who has publicly opposed the street closures for Freeman Friday Night Live, felt that fees for the use of public streets should coincide with fees for renting out parks.
"I would hate to have incentives for people to use our streets instead of the parks. … Parks are for people, streets are for traffic," Barta said.
A second part to the revised ordinance introduces permits for the sale and display of goods and merchandise on city sidewalks. Under the proposal, no one can set up goods, wares, merchandise, tents or tables and chairs without a permit from the city. Permits will not be issued unless it is in conjunction with an event.
The use of city sidewalks for merchandise would be similar to the city’s outdoor dining rules, which require proof of liability insurance and leaving a four-foot-wide path on the sidewalk for pedestrian safety.
Violations of the proposed ordinance could be between $50 and $200 a day.
No decision was made on the proposed ordinances, which will come back to the Ordinance and License Committee in January.