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I hope you dance... permit ordinance changes

As folks prepare to fire up the grill or hit the pool this holiday, Terre Haute residents are reminded a permit is not needed for a private party.

Posted: Jul 3, 2018 10:51 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2018 11:09 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - As folks prepare to fire up the grill or hit the pool this holiday, Terre Haute residents are reminded a permit is not needed for a private party.

A committee of concerned citizens, council members and law enforcement have some proposed changes to the Dance Permit ordinance. The group has been working the past month to come up with ways to improve the ordinance and clear up the confusion.

The first proposal is changing the name from Dance Permit to Special Event Permit.

District 3 City Councilman Karrum Nasser says, "If you look at the ordinance it states special event over forty-four times in the ordinance. It's always been about controlling large groups rather than controlling the fact that there's dancing at a particular event so that will be the major change that people will see."

The second change is for reoccurring public events like Blues at the Crossroads.

"If someone has an event weekly, monthly, yearly they won't have to redo the permit. It'd be just a one time fee."

If you plan to host a public event and advertise to the public and charge the public to attend, you need a permit. To get one, Nasser says go to the Board of Public Works in City Hall and fill out an application. There is a fifty dollar permit fee. Event hosts then work with police to ensure security.

"This was never about making money for the city. It was just, basically, about ensuring the safety of our citizens when there are large events going on."

Councilman Nasser explains the third change deals with liability insurance. Instead of a five million dollar policy, hosts would need just a million dollar policy.

Lastly, if you are denied a permit there is an appeal process outlined under the updated rules.

Connie Wrin organizes Blues at the Crossroads and voiced her concern alongside others like local musician and community organizer James Taylor. Both are part of the committee who came up with the proposed changes.

Wrin says she supports the new plan and says her questions have been answered.

Taylor still questions if the ordinance is needed but says the conversation has been positive.

Nasser says, "I think that this is where government has worked with the people that it affects a lot and come up with a solution that's going to again keep our community safe and have events throughout our community."

The ordinance will be discussed during the city council meeting Thursday evening. There will be time for public comment and the item could be voted on that night.

Nasser says, "All these events are great for our community but at the end of the day we're responsible for also keeping our community safe."

Click here to see the ordinance.

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