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Special Event Online Permit Application

Application link is at the bottom of this page. Please read through the information below thoroughly before proceeding to the online application. 


Introduction

Monroe, Wisconsin enjoys many fine and entertaining special events and festivals that help to make this an exciting City. These events enhance the lives of our citizens and attract visitors to our City. The City of Monroe is committed to supporting quality special events throughout the community. If you are planning a first-time event or simply making changes or renewing an annual event, give us a call before you complete your event plans. City staff members have valuable experience with hundreds of events and want to see your event succeed. Whether you are wondering about the closing of a street or seeking technical assistance with traffic and safety planning, a preliminary conversation with City staff may help you save valuable time and provide you with initial guidance in the development of your special event plan.

In order to help event organizers coordinate their plans with City requirements, we have compiled this Special Event Manual, which contains application forms, policies, and related materials that are involved in the City’s review and approval process. Please read the manual below completely, even if you have planned events before.

We encourage you to call the City Clerk’s or Police Chief’s office with any questions about your event, either before filling out your application or at any time during the approval process. Their names and telephone numbers are listed below. We want to ensure that your event will be a safe and enjoyable event for everyone.

City Clerk Arianna L. Voegeli    (608) 329-2530

Police Chief Fred Kelley             (608) 329-2400


Public Safety Committee Requirements
Because the Public Safety Committee makes recommendations on special event approval or denial, you will find it beneficial to begin your planning process early. You must turn your application into the City Clerk’s office at least 28 days in advance of the event.

Fees
Special Event Permit fees are based on the logistics and date of your event. View the City of Monroe Fee Schedule for an estimate on Special Event Permit Fees. Special Event Applications will not be processed until the permit fee has been paid in full. 

Special Event Regulations and Insurance Requirements
View the special event regulations and insurance requirements here


What is a Special Event?

The City of Monroe’s Special Event Policy defines a special event as: …a planned extraordinary occurrence or temporary aggregation of attractions, open to the public, that: a) is conducted on public property; b) is conducted on private property and has a substantial impact on public property; c) has activities that request special temporary food or liquor licenses; or d) requires special city services, whether open to the public or not, including but not limited to, any of the following: street closures, provisions of barricades, garbage cans, stages or special no parking signs, special electrical services, or special police protection. Special events include, but are not limited to, neighborhood and community festivals, parades, processions, fairs, and bicycle or foot races. Farmer’s markets and public assemblies are not special events.

 If your event does not otherwise meet the definition of a special event, certain regulations may still apply. For example, if your event is expected to have in excess of 100 people and will be held in a building not approved for public assembly in accordance with the Wisconsin Administrative Code, or involves the use of temporary seating, the Monroe Fire and Building Inspection Departments will need to review and approve your event. You are encouraged to contact those departments.


Consider how your event plans work with the Community

As you begin the preliminary plans for your event, think carefully about the impacts and benefits the event brings to a community.

Following are some common impacts that thoughtful planning can help reduce:

  • Remember, when you close a street, even for two or three blocks, this can affect traffic for miles around as traffic is rerouted or turned away. The impact of a street closure is similar to dropping a pebble in a pond with each concentric circle expanding.
    • Does your street closure block or impede access to police stations, fire stations, hospital emergency access routes, churches, schools, businesses, or residences?
    • How does your event affect our public street system with regard to traffic routes or access? Are alternate routes available to accommodate the numbers of people?
    • Are you planning to serve alcohol at the event? How will the use of alcohol affect the participant safety and enjoyment of the event, as well as security and insurance costs?
    • What type of music will be featured at the event? How will the noise impact the surrounding neighborhood? What type of audience behaviors and crowd numbers may result from the type of music planned?
    • Have you made plans to ensure that your event is accessible to the disabled? (Disabilities include, but are not limited to, vision, hearing and physical limitations.) Do your booths block ramp access? Is parking readily available? Are TDD phones on site? Will portable toilets accommodate wheelchairs?
    • What other events are planned throughout the city on the chosen date of your event? Will they reduce attendance at your event or inhibit the ability of the City to provide necessary staffing? 

Who to Contact First

The Special Events application process is coordinated through the City Clerk’s Office. Based on the nature of your event, a variety of permits may be required – this manual will help you to identify the specific permits you will need. Some events may not require the same permits due to their impact on public property. 


Determine When and Where to Hold your Event

Will your event be held in one of the City’s Parks? 

If you are considering holding your event in a City of Monroe park, you will first need to contact the Monroe Parks and Recreation Department to reserve the park. Additionally, the size of your event may dictate which of the City’s parks are best suited to your event, or if the event requires a full special event permit. A member of the Parks and Recreation Department will be glad to discuss your needs and find the best park to make your event successful.

 If you have decided to have your Special Event in a city park, you will be asked to complete a Facility Reservation Agreement and pay the appropriate fees. The fees for the park pavilions will vary with the size of the pavilion and the extra amenities available. All park rules, regulations, and policies must be adhered to.

 Will a public street or right-of-way be used or closed?

 If yes, the Police Department will need to review your request to ensure that all safety measures are met and the street closure(s) will not adversely affect traffic flow. Also, there may be some limitations on the use of certain streets during the street construction season.

 Make a plan of your event. You must supply an estimate of the number of people attending your event, including a peak maximum number and length of time that number will be present, the number of toilets available (also discussed later), a diagram of the location and a map of the area, including parking. Even if your event does not require street or sidewalk closings, it may generate unusual pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic. This not only affects the event’s participants, but also those who live, work and shop in the area surrounding the event’s location. Changes in traffic flow must be considered in the planning process. In case of large events, consider establishing parking in other sites and shuttling participants to the event. Also consider parking for the disabled. If there are not disabled parking stalls within a reasonable distance from your event site, you may discuss with the Police Department and the Department of Public Works ways to accommodate those with special needs.

 A map of your event MUST be attached to your Special Event Application form. Your map should include all street(s) to be used and the direction of the route, if applicable. 


Will Alcohol Be Served?

If your event will be selling beer or wine*, a separate Special Class B License will be required. This license application may be obtained from the Office of the City Clerk and must be filed at least 30 days before your event. It is recommended that you submit this application at the same time you submit your special event application.

 *Distilled alcoholic beverages cannot be sold or served at Special Events.

Although having alcohol at your event may be advantageous, you may also incur greater costs and risks

–  please read the insurance requirement section of this manual thoroughly.

Remember: You will also need to hire licensed bartenders to sell alcohol at your event. The City Clerk will be able to provide you with information on how to obtain an Operator’s (Bartender) License.


Helpful tips to organize a safe and successful event 


What Security will be needed?

For the safety of your event’s participants, security personnel are sometimes a necessity. Events including alcohol or minors may involve a higher risk and may require more security. You may choose to have private security personnel for your event. One member of the security personnel must be designated as the “Head of Security” who can be contacted at any time by Police, or Fire Department personnel. Or, you may have chosen to seek police services for your event. If so, this must be arranged through the Police Chief.

 Points to consider when planning security for your event:

  • Entry points
    • Boundaries
    • Bordering streets between your event’s location and parking areas
    • Parking lots
    • Site where admission is charged. You may want to consult with the police or an armored security system for transferring money.
    • Doors of spectator areas to watch for suspicious behavior
    • Restrooms or concession areas
    • Restricted access areas such as locker rooms, reserved areas, medical/first aid centers, box offices, or other key locations where the general public is not allowed
    • VIPs and Public Officials.

The Police and Fire Department, depending on facts and circumstances specific to each event, shall have the discretion to modify this ratio, as they deem necessary.


Will you be having a band or amplified music?

If your event will be having a band or amplified music, there are a number of items that must be considered.

  • Is there a stage available at your proposed location, or will you need to obtain one?
  • Is there sufficient electricity to supply the band’s equipment?
  • Will a tent be required? (see Fire Department section for tent regulations)
  • What hours will the band be playing – will this comply with the city’s noise ordinance?

Amplified sound requires a permit from the City Clerk. Contact the Clerk’s office for these permits and regulations.


Planning for Fire Prevention and Life Safety

The Monroe Fire and Building Inspections Departments are committed to a prevention program that places a high priority on the safety and welfare of the public while minimizing potential fire and life safety hazards. Establishing fire prevention and life safety procedures at your special event is an essential component of the event planning process.

If you are holding an outdoor event, your event must be reviewed by the Departments. Items of concern include general fire and life safety, crowd capacity, access for emergency vehicles, configuration and identification of all vendors cooking with flammable and combustible liquids and/or gases, or potentially hazardous cooking appliances. A copy of your Special Event application will be forwarded to the Building Inspector for his review. This review process is required for all special events.

Will you be erecting a tent, canopy, membrane or other temporary structure?

To operate or erect a large tent you will need to submit a plan to the Fire and Building Inspection Departments. Tents, canopies, and membrane structures are all regulated. Please contact the Fire Department for additional information.


Risk Management/Insurance Requirements

Risk Management in special events is defined as “Recognizing the possibility of meeting danger or suffering harm or loss and organizing or planning to minimize or eliminate said danger, harm, or loss”. Ensuring that appropriate risk management practices are in place is a priority for the City of Monroe. Some areas of risk management that should be observed by special event organizers:

  • Develop volunteer management practices – identify who is in charge and communicate this to all volunteers. Monitor the event volunteers to ensure that the necessary work is being completed.
    • Be clear about the role of the Police Department at your event and enhance communication throughout the event. Consult with police and emergency personnel for input and advice while developing the safety/risk management plan.
    • Be aware of safety standards and/or inspections related to buildings, vehicles, carnival rides and tents, ensuring safe egress from tents and fenced in areas.
    • Have emergency plans specific to the events activities, including communication and responsibilities, coordination with authorities, weather conditions, lightning, and personal and property damage.
    • Coordinate fire safety/protection for all tents and commercial cooking functions, and the safe handling of propane gas.
    • Inform all participants of safety requirements specific to events that take place on waterways.
    • Have a bleacher inspection and certificate of insurance from the installer.
      • Do a “walk through” of the event, looking out for tent stakes and ropes, electrical connections, compressed gas cylinders like helium, cables and hoses across walkways, absence of barriers to restricted areas; try to see the grounds through the eyes of an excited youngster or a not so nimble senior.

Insurance coverage: A Certificate of Insurance will be required for every special event held in the city. Proof of coverage will include naming the City of Monroe as an additional insured. The amount and type of insurance coverage varies, although $1 million to $2 million is a typical level. See the attached sheets for insurance requirements.


Toilet facilities and cleaning up after your event is over

Event planning must include requirements for sanitation and waste management plans. An event that does not provide for the personal comfort of patrons, or leaves an unsightly mess with litter and trash strewn about, will hurt its own future and will negatively affect the image of the city.

Portable Restrooms

Special events held in parks, in open spaces, and on public roads will by Commercial Code, likely require portable restrooms. Guidelines for the number of portable restrooms required are as follows:

FEMA “Special Events Contingency Planning” Toilets

The following considerations will determine the number of toilets to be provided for particular events:

  • Duration of the event
  • Type of crowd
  • Weather conditions
  • Whether the event is pre-ticketed and numbers known or unticketed
  • Whether finishing times are staggered if the event has multi-functions
  • Whether alcohol will be consumed

Calculating the number of toilets required for an event is a matter for conjecture. Where local laws or regulations do not exist, the following guidelines can be applied. Better management of events can be achieved by providing additional facilities. Assume a 50/50 male/female split unless otherwise advised. The tables on the following page should only be used as a guide:

Toilet facilities for events where alcohol is not available

Male

Female

Patrons

Toilets

Urinals

Sinks

Toilets

Sinks

<500

1

2

2

6

2

<1000

2

4

4

9

4

<2000

4

8

6

12

6

<3000

6

15

10

18

10

<5000

8

25

17

30

17


Toilet facilities for events where alcohol is available

Male

Female

Patrons

Toilets

Urinals

Sinks

Toilets

Sinks

<500

3

8

2

13

2

<1000

5

10

4

16

4

<2000

9

15

7

18

7

<3000

10

20

14

22

14

<5000

12

30

20

40

20

 

These figures may be reduced for shorter duration events as follows:

Duration of event

Quantity Required

More than 8 hours

100%

6-8 hours

80%

4-6 hours

75%

Less than 4 hours

70%

Source: FEMA “Special Events Contingency Planning” Toilets Page 39 

Refuse collection and site cleanup

The event sponsor should have a litter control plan in place and pick up litter before, during, and after an event that is open to the public. A recycling plan can also be part of the waste management plan.

The event organizer will be responsible for setting trash cans at various locations and emptying them during the event to prevent overflow. If food vendors are a part of the event, waste management will require more effort and expense on the part of the organizer.


Medical Services

When planning a special event, there are important questions you should ask to determine your first aid needs:

  • How many people will be attending your event? Medical demands vary. An event hosting 200 people will have different first aid needs than an event with 5,000 or more participants.
  • Is your event being held during daylight hours or is it a night event? If it is held during nighttime hours, is there good or limited lighting in the area?
  • What are the demographics of your anticipated crowd? Does your particular group have any potential health issues that should be taken into consideration?
  • What time of year is your special event being held? Do you anticipate hot weather, cold weather, wet conditions, or excessive insects?
  • What is the length of the event? Does your event run for a few hours, a full day, or is it a multi-day event?
  • Will there be alcohol available?
  • Is there a single location for your event? Will there be multiple venues, such as in a foot or bike race?
  • Have you encountered any first aid related problems with the event in the past?
  • If this is an athletic or sporting event, how strenuous is the activity?

It is recommended that every special event have a first aid kit easily accessible on the event site. The first aid kit should contain, at a minimum: compresses, ice packs, bandages and antiseptic.


By clicking the Special Event Online Application Form, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the special events manual. 

Click here to proceed to the application form.