By Matthew Reitz
The Town of Volney approved changes to its mass gathering law last week that regulate any gathering “which is likely to attract 1,000 people or more within a 12-hour period.” The town also approved budget adjustments for Airport Water Service Areas #2 and #3.
The law puts forth requirements on water supplies, hand washing facilities, parking, noise and planning for first aid and emergency situations at mass gatherings. Permit applicants will need to show the town how they plan to address each of these issues.
Each mass gathering event will be required to staff one maintenance employee for every 400 people in attendance and two security staffers for every 50 people in attendance. Applicants are also obligated to furnish the town with a comprehensive liability insurance policy, and deposit cash or a bond of no less than $100,000.
The town will charge a fee upon submission of the permit application, and collect a gross receipts charge of 3 percent on all sales at the event, including ticket sales. Violations of the law are subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 and not less than $1,000, or imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both.
Exceptions were given to functions sponsored by the Volney Fire Department and at town parks, the Fulton Speedway, school events at Volney Elementary School, and camping events with 250 people or less in a 24-hour period. Events sponsored at town parks and the speedway will not be authorized to hold mass gatherings that provide musical entertainment to the general public without securing a permit.
Town Clerk Barbara MacEwen said several other exemptions were sought, but none were granted.
“There were several of them that wanted to be exempt, but why would you make a local law if you’re going to exempt everybody,” MacEwen said.
The town does have the option to issue a separate permit that releases the applicant from certain conditions.
The town board also voted to place $1,002.55 back into the town’s contingency funds from the bookkeeping budget of Airport Water Service Area #2. The town had originally anticipated $2,000 in bookkeeping costs, but those services were completed for $997.45.
The board also made changes to the budget of the upcoming Airport Water Service Area #3. The net interest budget for the project is anticipated to be lower than the $25,000 that was originally budgeted. The new net interest total is $13,090, and the $11,910 will be placed back into the town’s contingency funds.
The major changes to the budget of Airport Water Service Area #3 are the elimination of the single audit and water meter allotments. The town had originally budgeted $10,000 for a single audit that they now expect to complete outside the scope of the project, according to the resolution. The town will also forgo water meters for the new project at a savings of $23,800.
The changes were made strictly for financial reasons, according to Town Supervisor Dennis Lockwood. He said the audit and the meters could still be included in the project.
“Depending on how the bids come in, everything we took out of it, the meters and things, could go back in,” Lockwood said.
The bids for Airport Water Service Area #3 will be opened on July 24 at 10 a.m.