City Policies Special Event Policy

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The City of Muskegon has many parks and facilities available for use. A
Special Event Application is required for any public event held on City
property or requiring City services. While there are several City departments
involved in the special event process, this policy centralizes the
administration of special events with the Department of Public Works. Email
[email protected] or call (231) 724-6907 for any questions.
For events where alcohol is served, applicants must also obtain
approval from the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission and the Muskegon Police
Department (231-724-6750), in addition to completing the Special Event Application. Liquor
license approval is a separate process from the Special Event Application, with its own fees and
regulations. The final authority for signing special liquor licenses is with the Public Safety Director. For
State of Michigan liquor license regulations and information, please visit the State of Michigan’s website

I.        Special Event Application (“Application”) Submission & Fee Schedule
All Applications shall be filed with the Department of Public Works at least thirty (30) days prior to the
event. The non-refundable Application fee must be paid at the time the Application is submitted.
       Events occurring during peak event season           Events occurring outside of peak season
                April 15 – September 30                    January 1 – April 14 / October 1 – Dec. 31
 $100 fee for applications submitted 60 days or more    $100 fee for applications submitted 60 days or
 prior to the event date                                more prior to the event date
 $250 fee for applications submitted 45-59 days prior   $200 fee for applications submitted 45-59 days
 to the event date                                      prior to the event date
 $400.00 fee for applications submitted 30-44 days      $300.00 fee for applications submitted 33-44 days
 prior to the event                                     prior to the event
 Applications submitted less than 30 days prior to      $400 fee for applications submitted less than 30
 the event date will not be accepted.                   days prior to the event

Application and parade event fees may be waived for Veteran’s groups. In addition, the City’s
recognized Neighborhood Associations are entitled to two Application and event fee waivers per year
in addition to National Night Out festivities, provided that the Application is submitted to the Department
of Public Works at least 30 days in advance of the event date. Up to two application fees may be waived
for a non-profit organization in its lifetime. The non-profit must serve City of Muskegon residents to
The Application shall be submitted on the appropriate form. The Application fee must be paid at the
time of Application submission or the Application will not be considered. The City of Muskegon
Request for Special Event Application form can be found on the City’s website at www.muskegon-, or you may email [email protected] or call (231) 724-6907 to have one mailed,
or visit the Department of Public works at 1350 E Keating Ave, Monday – Friday from 8:00 am. Until
4:300 p.m. excluding holidays.
Block Parties. The City has a separate Block Party Policy and Application. Contact the Department of
Public Works at [email protected] or 231-724-6907 for further information about block
4th of July weekend. Margaret Drake Elliott Park is not available for special events on the 4th of July,
including the entire weekend if July 4 falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The park is reserved for
picnicking during this holiday.

     Revised/Adopted 01/24/2023
Reserving event dates for multiple years. As long as prior year event fees are paid in full, established
events may reserve their event date(s) and location for future years. A completed special event
application must be received by February 1 of each year in order to hold the date(s) and location.

II.    Event Requirements
      All Special Event permittees must adhere to the following rules and regulations. Failure to do
so may result in the applicant having any conditional approvals revoked, being held responsible for
any damages and/or denial of future event Applications.
        (a)    Public Safety Personnel. While the presence of public safety personnel
(police/fire/medical) may not be required at all special events, it shall be the discretion of the Public
Safety Director if city police and/or fire officials may be required. The applicant/organization will be
responsible for payment of public safety personnel services. See Fee Schedule (Section IV) for fee
estimates. If an event is cancelled with less than 72 hours’ notice, the applicant/organization will be
responsible for paying two hours’ pay per officer, per union contract requirements. Applicants are not
allowed to provide their own public safety staff (police/fire/medical) without prior approval of the City of
Muskegon’s Public Safety Director.
        (b) Liability Insurance. The applicant must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount
of $1,000,000 naming the City of Muskegon as an additional insured. You may use an insurance agent
of your choice. An acceptable certificate of insurance must be submitted no later than 10 days before
the event date. Please inform your insurance agent that the wording on the certificate must read:
        “The City of Muskegon, all elected and appointed officials, all employees and volunteers, all boards,
        commissions and/or authorities and board members, including employees and volunteers thereof; it
        is understood and agreed that by naming the City of Muskegon as additional insured, coverage
        afforded is considered to be primary and any other insurance the City of Muskegon may have in
        effect shall be considered secondary and/or excess.”

       (c) Restroom Facilities. All outdoor events shall provide adequate restroom facilities (i.e.
portable toilets) including handicapped-accessible facilities per ADA requirements. Restroom
placement shall not impede sidewalk traffic.
        (d) Digging & Staking. Digging or staking at into paved areas, including roadways, sidewalks,
and public parking areas, is not permitted. Digging or staking into non-paved ground shall be cleared
through Miss Dig in order to avoid damage to underground utilities. The Applicant Organization is
responsible for contacting Miss Dig (1-800-482-7171, or dial 811) a minimum of 5 working days prior to
event set-up. The applicant will also be responsible for paying an electrician to locate underground utility
lines and a City employee to location irrigation/water lines, if required. A penalty of $100 will be charged
for an unapproved staking and the Applicant Organization will be responsible for the cost of any
damages to underground utilities, including irrigation lines, caused by digging or staking.
         (e) Electrical and Water Hook-up The applicant must adapt to electrical power available on-
site, or provide their own generator. When using City electrical panels, the applicant shall read the meter
before and after the event, and report those numbers to the City’s special event coordinator upon
request. City fire hydrants may be used as a water source for a fee (see Fee Schedule - Section IV) for
cost. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide acceptable hoses for potable water usage, which
meet Health Department requirements.
        (f) Inspections. The event location is subject to all building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical,
and fire codes. It is the permittee’s responsibility to schedule an inspection by any and all required
inspectors and pay the required inspection fee(s). The City’s building inspection department
(SAFEbuilt), requires an inspection of assembly tents that are 400 sq ft or greater. See Fee Schedule
(Section IV) for costs. For events having multiple tents, contact the City’s Building Official for inspection

       (g) Food trucks. Any food trucks or vendors using deep fryers and/or propane cylinders must
be inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal prior to participation in a special event. These vendors
are required to have no less than a 5 lbs ABC-type fire extinguisher which has a current inspection tag
and a class K type fire extinguisher for any deep-frying equipment wherein oils and/or grease is used
as a medium. Contact the Fire Marshall for an inspection at (231) 724-6793.
        (h) Camping/Campgrounds. Approval must be given by the City Commission to have camping
at your event at least 60 days before the event. The Department of Public Works will submit the request
to the City Commission. Events that include overnight camping or a campground area also require a
permit from the Muskegon County Health Department and Department of Environment, Great Lakes
and Energy. To obtain information about this permit, call (231) 724-6208. A copy of an approved permit
must be provided to the City.
        (i) Event Set-up and Tear-down. For events utilizing any public roadway, no tents, booths,
vendors, or equipment shall be set up in the roadway prior to 6:00 p.m. the day before the event. All
signs, tents, booths, vendors, and equipment must be removed from the roadway prior to 6:00 a.m. the
day after the event.
         (j) Site Clean-up and Trash Disposal. The Applicant shall be responsible for clean-up of City
facilities after the event. This includes the removal of trash from the site (do not leave full trash cans on
site). Applicants shall provide their own Dumpster. The City shall have the right to enforce cleanup
measures, including but not limited to entry and cleaning of property by City personnel with costs
charged to the owner, occupant, or applicant. City staff may require a walk-through after the event to
ensure satisfactory clean-up.
        (k) Merchandise Sales. Sales of all merchandise for Special Events must be out of the public
right-of-way, unless prior authorization is received.
       (l) Events Using Water. Events utilizing a body of water such as Muskegon Lake and/or Lake
Michigan require Coast Guard (414-747-7100) and/or Department of Natural Resources (269-685-
6851) special event approval.
      (m) Pyrotechnics. Events utilizing any kind of pyrotechnics must contact the Fire Marshal (231-
724-6793) and must also obtain the appropriate permits from the City Clerk’s Office (231-724-6705).
       (n) Compliance with all regulations. Special Event applicants/organizations are responsible
to ensure that all applicable laws and ordinances are followed. Failure to comply with all city ordinances,
rules and regulations may result in the denial of future special event requests.

III.   Special Event Application Processing
       (a) Application Intake. Department of Public Works Office staff shall be responsible for intake
of Special Event Applications and dissemination to appropriate City staff for review and approval. The
Application fee must be submitted with the Application. Liquor license Applications shall be filed with
the Public Safety Director.
         (b) Event Approval. The City will issue a conditional approval or denial no later than 30 days
after the Application date whenever possible. Preliminary approval may be given to allow the applicant
to advertise the event, with final details to be worked out with staff. An approval letter will be issued,
listing conditions of approval.
         (c) Application Denial. If City staff reviews an Application and denies same, it shall be stated
in writing the reasons for the denial. An appeal of that decision may be made to the City Commission,
whose decision shall be final.
        (d) Unpaid Invoices Due the City. Any past due fees/invoices owed to the City will result in
denial of the event Application and/or future Special Event requests until paid in full.

       (e) Meetings with Staff. City staff will meet with applicants to discuss event details if needed.
Contact the City’s special event coordinator in the Department of Public Works to request a meeting.
There may also be instances when City staff may require a meeting with the applicant. Failure to attend
a requested meeting may result in denial of the Application.
        (f) Street Closures/Barricading. Requests for City road closings/barricading require approval
of the Public Safety Director and the DPW Superintendent. DPW Office staff will forward requests to the
appropriate personnel once the Application and fee are submitted. The applicant is responsible for all
associated costs, which may include barricades, public safety services, etc. There is an additional $50
fee for each block closed beyond 2 blocks. City Commission approval may be required in some cases.
If a street closure is approved for an event, the Applicant must provide written notification to all
businesses and residences located along the affected street(s) at least 10 days prior to the event date.
Changes to street closures requested within 30 days of the event date will incur a $50 fee. No route
and/or road closure changes will be allowed within 14 days of an event.
       (f)(1) Time Restrictions Streets shall not be closed prior to 6:00 p.m. the day before the event
       and must be open by 6:00 a.m. the day following the conclusion of the event.
       (f)(2) Parking along event routes. The applicant shall be responsible for posting “No Parking”
       signs along the closed streets of an event route at least 48 hours in advance of the event date.
       The City’s Department of Public Works may have No Parking signs available for use. However,
       the applicant/organization must attach 5 ½” by 8 ½” addendums to the signs noting the name of
       the event and date and time the parking restrictions will be in effect.

       (g) Runs/Walks. For races, runs, walks, or parades, the applicant must submit a map with the
Application, showing the proposed route. In addition, if any streets will be closed or partially closed, the
applicant must provide written notification to all residents and businesses along the route as stated
above in paragraphs (f) and (f)(1). The City’s special event coordinator can provide the names and
addresses of affected homes and businesses to be notified. The applicant is responsible for any public
safety and/or DPW costs for street closures (barricades, police presence at intersections if needed,
etc). Western Ave from Shoreline Dr to 8th St will not be closed for a walk or run.
        (g)(1) Use of Lakeshore Trail bike path. For events utilizing the Lakeshore Trail bike path,
        there is a trail use fee that will be billed upon completion of the event (see Fee Schedule) to
        help cover trail maintenance expenses. In addition, any events using the path must post
        signage at trail entry points on the day of the event, notifying users that there is an event
        occurring on the trail. Signs may be generic, such as “EVENT ON BIKE PATH TODAY”
        (organizations using the path for events may share signs to reduce costs). The City’s Parks
        Supervisor can assist you in locating sign placement locations.

        (h) Site Plan. The City may require submittal of a site plan showing the event grounds and
the location of tents, vendors, portable toilets, and other structures.

IV.   Special Event Fee Schedule (Use of City Equipment, Labor Charges, Liquor Licenses,
Inspections, Park use fees)
 ITEM / SERVICE                                        RENTAL FEE (plus labor if necessary)
 55-gallon metal trash can                             $5.00 each
 Plastic trash bags (1 case)                           $0.00 per case or actual cost
  Standard Traffic Cone                                 $1.00 each
  Tall “Grab” Cone                                       $3.00 each
 Picnic tables                                         $10.00 each
 Fire hydrant use (installation & removal of
                                                       $100.00 flat rate per hydrant
 hydrant tree, water testing, and water usage)
 DPW/Parks personnel labor costs                       $60.00/hour
 (Transportation of Barricades/Cones/tables, etc)      Truck/ trailer rental may also be charged
 NOTE: Liquor License fees are lowest when applied for at least 45 days in advance of the event date.
 Liquor licenses will not be issued within 15 days of an event.
 Special liquor license (non-profit)/New event      $150.00 (if applied for at least 45 days in advance of event)
 Special liquor license (non-profit)/Return event
                                                    $125.00 (if applied for at least 45 days in advance of event)
 Organization located outside City of Muskegon
 Special liquor license/Return event, in-City rate  $ 75.00 (if applied for at least 45 days in advance of event)
 Special liquor license (all) within 15-44 days of
 Liquor license/Temporary authorization –
                                                    $40.00 ($60 if within 15-44 days of event)
 existing business/club
 Public safety labor charges (police/fire/medical)  $60.00 per hour (time and ½)
 Public safety labor charges (police/fire/medical)  $120.00 per hour (triple time/holidays)
 Inspection of assembly tent                           $50.00 (if multiple tents, contact building official for fees)
                                                       Contact the building inspection department to see if
 Electrical or plumbing inspections
                                                       these are required
 Fire Department inspection of food trucks             Included with application fee
 Hackley Park exclusive use fee with Liquor License     $100/hour or $500/day
 Hackley Park use fee per quadrant                      $50/day per quadrant
 Harbour Towne Beach user fee                           $1500.00 per event
 Trail bicycle/walking paths                            $200 per event
 Pere Marquette Park user fees (applicable May 15      through September 15)
                        Events less than 100 people    $100 per event
                       Events with 100 - 250 people    $200 per event
                       Events with 250 – 500 people    $350 per event
                      Events with 500 - 2000 people    $500 per event
                           Events over 2000 people     $1500.00 per event (includes 20 reserved parking spaces)
                       Parking spaces for event use    $10 per parking space reserved per day and each vehicle
                                                       must have Beach Parking pass
         Exclusive use fee of Ovals parking lot area   $250 per day and each vehicle must have Beach Parking
                   Camping at Pere Marquette Park      $20 per night per camper or tent*
                                                       *The City Commission may opt to collect a percentage of
                                                       camping revenue for larger events in lieu of the $20 per unit


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