Groups or businesses which conduct feeding events for large groups in city parks must get insurance ahead of the function under a resolution unanimously approved by the Brooksville City Council during its regular meeting on June 5.
In April, the council unanimously approved a measure requiring that anyone hosting an event such as a family reunion for 25 people or more in a city park must apply for a Parks and Recreation Department permit, not more than 180 and not less than 30 calendar days ahead of the event.
In addition, not more than one large group feeding permit shall be issued per week to the same person, group, or organization for the same park.
Non-profit groups such as churches and other organizations that regularly host feeding events that draw large numbers of people who are homeless or food-challenged may apply to use the park pavilion and related facilities for the same day at the same time over several weeks.
The newly approved resolution spelled out insurance regulations connected to the permitting. Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department Director David Howard told the panel that groups or individuals who host feeding events for the public at large will be required to have an insurance policy covering the event. “For example, if you’re a church and you are just feeding members of your (congregation) church, then you will not need a permit or get insurance,” Howard said. “If you are a church and you are feeding the public – if you are doing a public feeding – then you would have to have insurance.”
He also told that group that organizations that use park facilities to host such events already have insurance that covers such an event.
“Because it is like a standard thing for most businesses,” Howard said.
Discussion about the insurance requirements was largely aimed at misconceptions that the City would require those hosting large feeding events at their own residential properties or at private businesses would be required to have both permits and insurance coverage specific to the event. “People can feed from their homes without insurance, right?” Mayor Blake Bell asked Howard. “That’s part of the discussion as well – we want our parks to be utilized but homes being utilized for some of these feedings as well.”
Howard told the group that the city had no intention to make requirements on events that take place on private property. “The City of Brooksville is not trying to come in like the man and trying to govern people’s specific houses and not saying ‘I’ll tell you what to do in a (private) home,’” Howard said. “If you have a business and if you have a home and you decide to do a pubic feeding from your business or your home, the city itself – the City of Brooksville, especially the Parks and Rec Department – is not trying to go in and try to take over.”
Meanwhile, Howard said that the Parks and Recreation Department would compile a list of insurance vendors, which would be available to those who do need insurance for large feeding events at city parks. “That increases our level of customer service and makes it easier for residents rather than having to call everyone they know just to find out who provides insurance,” he pointed out.
Bell approved of the idea. “We have a number of insurance companies just in the city limits – it’s a great idea to have a preferred vendor list.”
Howard also told the council that fees for the use of facilities at city parks remained the same. “There’s no changes in the prices,” he said.
Finally, the council approved the resolution by a 5-0 vote.