Holmes County Commissioners still awaiting approval for large scale event ordinance

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Holmes County residents will have to wait a bit longer to find out if there will be a special events ordinance in the future.

County commissioners said they’d like their county attorney to make more changes to the proposal.

After a drafting session on May 21 and another on Jun. 3, Holmes County attorney Nate Nolin presented the third draft of a special events ordinance to commissioners Tuesday night.

“Part of that. That balance, while protecting private property rights and economic growth is a difficult task,” Holmes County attorney Nate Nolin.

Nolin received input from Holmes County Sheriff John Tate, the EMS director, and building officials.

This is the board’s first time seeing the drafted ordinance.

One of the first things they went over was the parameters that each event should follow.

“One of the main things in this ordinance is the time period. So, they have 120 days to apply and then have everything in line 90 days out. So, there’s no surprises. I mean, we got called last, you know, on that last large event. We couldn’t react fast enough with this ordinance,” said Building Official Keith Bennet.

They agreed on a six-month advance application period, with everything approved three months before the event date.

Safety inspections and emergency resources should be decided in that time frame.

Commissioners also want to make sure events do not interfere with school testing days and student transportation.

“There be a time of entry and a time that they can leave in those periods. Don’t interfere with the kids going to school in the a.m. and then getting out in the p.m. as far as entry and exit to those areas where the roadways stay open,” said Commissioner Brandon Newsom.

One of Nolin’s early proposals, advance deposits for cleaning up after events, looks like it will be included.

But commissioners also believe there should be other penalties for negative impacts on residents.

“We’ve got to get compensated for that. Right. Instead of going back on the taxpayer,” said Commissioner Clint Erickson.

Commissioners asked county attorney Nate Nolin to revise the ordinance again before approval.

Officials anticipate two more commission meetings and a public hearing before passing the large event outdoor ordinance.

They’re shooting for late July.

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