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Special event policy

Polk approves new policy for events throughout the county

COLUMBUS—Anyone wanting to hold an event in Polk County will now have to abide by a policy and pay fees for any emergency services needed. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met last week and heard from emergency management director and fire marshal Bobby Arledge. 

Arledge said the policy is needed for planning so county officials will know events are being held and can plan for what services may be needed. Arledge said having a policy will help the county look at the event and make sure the county has adequate protection in terms of emergency services. 

The policy also includes a fee schedule for needed services, including $75 per hour for a paramedic and QRV, $95 an hour for a paramedic and ambulance, $45 an hour for an off duty law enforcement officer, $55 per hour for an officer and a patrol car, $25 per hour for a firefighter and $50 per hour for a fire engine, as well as other services. 

The policy includes the county’s definition of a special event, the fees, deposits and special conditions, application times, grounds for denial and committees involved in the approval process. 

The policy states that the county’s purpose is to regulate special events held in Polk County so that events can occur with the safety and health of the participants, the citizens and visitors of the county in mind. 

“This policy is designed to protect public and private properties and to ensure activities are not detrimental to public health, safety or welfare while balancing the needs of the residents and business owners affected by these events,” the new policy states. “In addition, this policy ensures that those who benefit from such an event bear the cost of the event.”