ELKO – Planning a parade in Elko? The city’s fee for a parade permit has just gone up to $1,000.
Elko City Council approved the $250 hike this week with a resolution stating that the $1,000 fee is effective July 11.
The council agreed back in February 2016 to raise the permit fee once a year for three years to the $1,000 mark because of costs associated with parades. In 2015, the city estimated the cost for covering roughly a dozen parades at $22,272. The city took in $1,800 in permit fees that year, when the fee was $150, according to Elko Daily Free Press accounts.
City costs involve police coverage, staff time for city employees, street closures, street cleaners and overtime. The Elko County Sheriff’s Department and Nevada Highway Patrol are involved, and sometimes the Department of Transportation as well.
“The largest expense is for law enforcement,” Elko Police Chief Ben Reed said on July 11.
He said over the past several years police have collaborated with parade organizers, “implemented their suggestions, changed the route slightly and implemented other safety improvements. The overall goal is to keep everyone safe.
“Some parades have attracted less than 100 people watching, others have attracted thousands of spectators. They all require the same level of response from public safety and other city departments to ensure equal rights and a safe route.”
City Manager Curtis Calder told the council on July 10 the city could send letters to past parade organizers to let them know in advance that the permit fee is higher so “they have plenty of time to plan for it. I think if they have enough lead time, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Elko City Clerk Kelly Wooldridge said her office was sending the letters out this week. She said there are no parade permits pending, but the next one may be for the Elko County Fair, which is scheduled Aug. 24 through Sept. 3.
Mayor Chris Johnson brought up waiving the fee for Elko High School’s homecoming parade, but the council informally agreed it would be better for the school to seek donations for the permit, which has been done in the past.
Calder briefly suggested the council could exclude from the permit fee certain routes since the homecoming parade follows a different route than the downtown parades, but that idea was dropped because other parade organizers could change their routes, too.
Also at the July 10 meeting, the council approved a concessionaire lease of $50 per month for Jennifer Saxton of Spring Creek for Sisters Food Service. The food truck will feature sandwiches, wraps and salads, according to the application, and be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Saturdays.
Wooldridge said this lease is the third out of six spots at Elko City Park that the city sets aside for concessions.
The council also agreed to allow Elko Police Officer Jason Ward to adopt police dog Donatella, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, for $85. Ward is one of three former handlers of the dog, Reed said, telling the council it is time for Donatella to retire.