BANGOR, Maine — The city has adopted a new policy for groups that want to use the Bangor waterfront and other municipal parks for special events.
The official policy essentially creates a permit that allows for certain uses within city parks and outlines general guidelines that need to be followed. The policy also stipulates whether any other agencies, such as police or fire, need to be notified in regard to the specific event.
Additionally, all requests now are handled through the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department, rather than the Community and Economic Development office, and come with a $25 application fee.
Until now, the city did not have an official policy or a fee.
“There has been increasing demand in using the waterfront and some other areas,” City Manager Edward Barrett said this week. “We’re not trying to dissuade people by any means, but [we are] trying to develop a way to better manage and schedule events.”
Tracy Willette, the city’s parks and recreation director, said it makes more sense for his department to be involved in scheduling events on public land.
“We already work with event coordinators for things like tent location,” he said. “As a city, we felt it would be helpful for everyone to have a policy in place.”
The policy comes as Bangor’s waterfront continues to develop and generate more interest. Already home to the popular American Folk Festival, more and more groups are looking to the waterfront for public events.
“The more it becomes developed, the more attractive it will become,” Willette said of the waterfront.
Barrett said it was important for the city to have policy in place with changes on the horizon for the waterfront.
The city has secured nearly $1 million in federal funding to revitalize and redevelop its waterfront. Engineering for the $2.3 million project is nearly complete, with work expected to begin by summer 2010.
The park project is expected to include pedestrian and bicycle paths, play areas for children, a skating rink, amenities including picnic tables and benches, and space for an outdoor theater to be developed later.
Willette said the city’s new policy applies to other parks, such as Cascade Park on State Street or the Paul Bunyan Park, but the waterfront typically has generated the highest interest.
Both he and Barrett said the $25 fee was kept low so as not to be prohibitive to nonprofits and others that want to use the public space.
The full policy, which was approved by the City Council earlier this week, can be viewed at Bangor City Hall.