5/2/17 – The Beaver Dam Common Council last night adopted changes to the city’s parade ordinance on a 10-to-3 vote. The parade permit fee is increasing from $5 to $50. In addition, a one-million-dollar insurance policy will be required, which is estimated to cost between $250 and $400 according to research done by Alderman Kevin Burnett who voted in favor of the changes. In addition to parades, the ordinance also applies to marches, run/walks, marathons, bicycle races, public entertainment, estate sales, political gatherings and any event that requires a temporary liquor license. Police Chief John Kreuziger says exemptions will be granted for funeral processions or military convoys and the wording of the ordinance says a parade fee may be waived for any parade sponsored by an agency of the city, state or federal government. The city clerk also has the authority to issue a parade permit for a neighborhood event that would be exempt from the required fee and may be exempt from insurance. City Attorney Mary Ann Schact says the primary purpose of the ordinance is to regulate runs and walks that require police manpower to secure city streets. Alderman Robert Ballweg cited restrictions of free speech by making – for example – political marches subject to a lengthy application and insurance process. Schacht says a march would not be subject to the ordinance if it remained on the sidewalk as wording was removed that had been in the previous ordinance that had required a permit for any gathering on a city sidewalk; she says it is any citizens right to gather on a sidewalk. The ordinance as adopted does not specifically state that a political march on a sidewalk is exempt nor does it specifically state that all non-profits are exempt. Schacht and Kreuziger say that this is a parade-friendly ordinance that will not affect any parade currently in the city including homecoming, the Nation of Patriots Tour and the holiday parade. An example given for a parade that would need a permit and insurance was the horse parade that took place in 2010 because it was not specifically tied to a non-profit.
The ordinance can be read here: