Sebastian art, craft clubs to get discount to use park

SEBASTIAN – Two groups in the City of Sebastian will be allowed to have multiple events at Riverview Park and pay less for it.

The Sebastian River Art Club and the Craft Club of Sebastian were granted permission again this year to pay half the required permit fee for their weekend shows at the park.

Instead of paying $50 per event to rent a portion of the park, they will be allowed to pay $25.

The Sebastian City Council approved the clubs’ requests, noting that the groups have been community supporters and have contributed to improvements to Riverview Park over the years.

“They do a very nice job” maintaining the park, Councilman Don Wright said.

Sebastian resident Louise Kautenburg asked if there were certain criteria groups had to meet in order to request the discount or it if were only available to the two clubs.

Councilman Eugene Wolff told Kautenburg that if there were a similar group that has had the history with the city as the Sebastian River Art Club and the Craft Club of Sebastian, that group could present a request and the council would consider it.

Parks and Recreation Supervisor Chris McCarthy told the council that the two clubs have been receiving the discounted rate for the last six to eight years.

“They do quite a bit for the community,” he said.

After determining the clubs could receive a 50 percent discount on their application fees, the council then had to decide if the groups would be charged the old fee or the one they had just approved prior to taking up the issue.

The council approved a new rate structure for event permits at the city’s parks, which increased the fee from $50 to $100.

Because both the Sebastian River Art Club and the Craft Club of Sebastian had submitted their permit requests prior to the increase in the permit fee, the council voted to have the clubs pay 50 percent of the original $50 fee.

The decision was accompanied by quiet applause and hushed cheers by more than a half-dozen members of the clubs sitting in the audience.

Without much discussion, the Sebastian City Council also approved new rules for events at city facilities, of which the increase permit fee was a part.

Now, event organizers who expect to have between 151 and 300 attendees must hire one police officer and those events with more than 300 people need two officers.

Also, the new regulations allow groups to appeal to the Sebastian City Council if their event permit application were denied by the city manager.

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