HB mayor returns festival permit approval to commission

Free music concerts, including vendors and alcoholic beverage sales, at the Holmes Beach grassy field the last Friday night of each month, are just a permit signature away.

City commissioners reached a consensus at their December meeting to allow the mayor to sign off on the temporary use permit for the concerts.

However, the topic is on the agenda for the Jan. 17 city commission work session, which takes place after presstime for the Jan. 18 edition of The Islander.

If an event organizer plans to serve alcoholic beverages, he or she must first obtain a license through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Alcohol Beverages and Tobacco Division. The TUP also requires approvals from the police and public works departments and West Manatee Fire Rescue, after which the mayor may sign off or bring it to the city commission.

Apparently, Mayor Rich Bohnenberger has decided to bring the event permit back to the commission for more discussion.

Cindy Thompson, the event organizer, said Jan. 12 Joe Duennes, of the city’s public works department had just signed off, and she awaits police and fire approval.

The city said separate monthly permits will be required.

She submitted her application Jan. 10, but announced Dec. 27 that the events were approved for the last Friday of every month. She said the first event will be Jan. 27, and include live entertainment, beer sales and food and craft vendors.

Thompson announced the entertainment lineup for Jan. 27 is:

• 5 p.m., DJ Chris Grumly.

• 6:15 p.m., Highway 41.

• 7-10 p.m., Shotgun Justice, a country-rock band.

Also planned is a G-rated movie in the park starting at 8 p.m. for kids, “to get them away from the drinking,” according to Thompson.

A beer truck will be staffed by a nonprofit partner, Thompson said, and this partner will be responsible for staffing the beer concession.

“We will have a contract with the nonprofit,” Thompson said, and “at the end of the night, we’ll know the money taken in and the expenses, and the proceeds will go to the nonprofit.”

“It will be transparent,” she said. “It has to be.”

Thompson’s first nonprofit partner on the temporary use permit is the Bridge Street Merchants Association.

Caryn Hodge, vice president of the merchants group, said Thompson is partnering with BSM to obtain the liquor permit. Hodge said the net proceeds, after event expenses, will benefit BSM and nonprofits supported by BSM, such as the Tingley Library and Feeding Little Tummies.

“My goal is to help the businesses, tourists, residents and nonprofits,” Thompson said.

In an e-mail seeking sponsors, Thompson said she was looking for the media to create and/or publish advertisements and flyers, as well as editorial promotions before and after the monthly concerts.

Holmes Beach commission chair David Zaccagnino said Thompson is a “trustworthy” event organizer who “always does a great job.”

Thompson is past president of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, which organized last April’s Holmes Beach Founder’s Day event.

The temporary use permit is required for nonprofit events and activities on city and commercial properties, beach areas and rights of way, according to city code.

No public input is required as part of the permit process.

“If we get any complaints, we’ll address them,” Thompson said, “If the music is too loud, we’ll have them turn it down. If it lasts too late, we’ll stop earlier.”

Bohnenberger said last week he has concerns with the application and will seek direction from the commission on limiting TUP applications for use of the field to nonprofit organizations.


HB also to discuss ball park, rental issues

Issues relating to use of the dog park/baseball field and short-term rentals are on the Holmes Beach City Commission work session agenda for Jan. 17 following the 7 p.m. meeting.

Dog owners requested to be included on the agenda to discuss their continued use of Birdie Tebbetts Field as a dog park, and also are expected to request a policy change for field use.

Posted signs at the ball field state: “No dogs permitted during ball playing activities,” and “This field is baseball/softball use only. All other activities use soccer field.”

Some dog owners told The Islander they will ask the city to limit use of the field for organized teams and games and that a schedule be posted at the field. That way, they said, dog owners will know in advance to yield the field.

Also on the agenda is discussion on the issue of short-term rental problems. Residents packed the chambers for a Nov. 22 work session on the subject, and presented ideas to resolve the city’s noise, parking and trash problems associated with accommodations that can house several vacationing families at one time.

The Jan. 17 meeting and workshop occur after presstime for the Jan. 18 edition of The Islander.