City of Puyallup staff are reviewing how private event organizers are granted access to city property and whether procedures should be changed or improved.
Several residents voiced concerns at a Puyallup City Council study session this week, saying the process is inconsistent and increasingly costly.
Michele McGill, executive director of the Puyallup Main Street Association, said her organization plans many free family events in the downtown core. They use parks, parking lots and other city properties and pay roughly $18,000 a year to host the farmers market, she said.
"If we cannot afford to create these events . . . then we might have to cut events, " she said.
City spokeswoman Melanie Harding said staff will research and propose best practices for streamlining the costs and guidelines related to private events on city property, which then will be reviewed by council members.
Officials will look at potential rules related to permits, amplified noise and alcohol use, among other topics, for events such as fundraisers, parades and car shows.
Residents complained that past inconsistencies included varying costs for city employee labor and barricades for road closures.
Puyallup requires special events organizers to submit permit applications 90 days in advance. The application is reviewed by a team of officials including representatives from the police, risk management and parks departments.
"The primary concern of the team is for events to be successful, safe, and enjoyable while minimizing undesirable impacts on the rest of the community, " Harding said.
Corry Glucoft, a business owner and candidate for City Council, said the same events that use the same amount of space year after year have arbitrarily become more expensive.
"I'm glad to hear a group is coming together to make things consistent for special events costs, " she said.
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