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Certain areas of County controlled buildings and grounds may be occasionally made available for cultural, educational, civic, and other public activities, including solicitation of funds as outlined in § 2.96.050 of this Ordinance. The purpose of this Section is to outline procedures to be followed in permitting such occasional use.
A. Terms used in this Section shall have those definitions cited in Appendix 1.
1. Any person or organization desiring to use a public area of a County controlled building or its grounds shall first obtain a permit from the County Administrator’s Office. To obtain this permit, a copy, sample, or description of any material or item proposed for distribution, sale or display shall be submitted along with an application setting forth the following:
a. The full name, mailing address, and telephone number of the applicant;
b. The full name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person or organization sponsoring, promoting, or conducting the proposed activity;
c. The full name, mailing address, and telephone number of the individual person or persons who will have supervision of and responsibility for the proposed activity;
d. A description of the proposed activity;
e. The proposed dates and hours during which the activity is to be conducted;
f. The approximate number of persons to be engaged in this activity; and
g. (1) Any group using any County building or grounds pursuant to this ordinance shall be required to execute a release of liability for negligence for any damages to County property during the time of use. Moreover, any such group using County property shall be required to execute an agreement to indemnify and hold harmless the County for any liability to third parties for injuries caused by the group, or any persons or group invited to attend the meeting or session on County property. The group shall be liable to the County for any and all damages to County property or injuries to County employees, officers, agents or employees, or by any person attending or seeking to attend the group’s meeting, whether or not such damage is the result of negligence, intention acts, or accident. Moreover, as part of any application for use, any such user whose use for a particular function will involve thirty (30) or more persons must provide a certificate of insurance evidencing the following minimum insurance coverage:
(a) $100,000 damage and property; and
(b) $500,000 general public liability.
(2) In addition, McHenry County shall be named as an additional insured on the policy as their interest may appear.
(3) See Appendix 2 for a sample application and permit forms. Appendix 2 is attached hereto and made part of this Ordinance.
(4) If the applicant claims to represent an organization, a letter or other documentation is required showing that the applicant has authority to represent that organization.
(5) Any person or organization desiring to use a public area of a County controlled building or grounds for the soliciting of funds not prohibited by § 2.96.050 of this Ordinance shall, in addition to the requirements cited above, submit a statement signed by the applicant that:
(a) The applicant represents, and will be soliciting funds, for a non-profit charitable, fraternal, religious, veterans, or political group.
(b) The applicant’s organization has received an official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling or letter of determination stating that the organization (or its parent organization) qualifies for tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. (c)(3); (c)(4); or (c)(5); or
(c) Applicant’s organization has applied to the IRS for a determination of tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. (c)(3); (c)(4); or (c)(5), and that the IRS has not yet issued a final administrative ruling or determination of this status.
(6) Failure to submit the information required by this Section, including proof of tax exempt status, shall result in denial of a permit. However, the applicant will have the opportunity to appeal the denial of a permit application in accordance with subsection D. below of this Ordinance.
(7) Applications shall be filed during regular working hours in the County Administrator’s Office or such other place as he or she may designate. Applications may be submitted by mail or in person.
(8) A single permit shall be issued within 10 (ten) working days following receipt of the completed application by the County Administrator’s Office. Such a permit is deemed a privilege, and not a property right of the applicant.
C. 1. Each permit shall authorize the permittee to conduct the activity for the period of time requested; provided that a permit shall not be issued for a period of time in excess of 30 csalendar days, unless specifically approved by the Management Services Committee. After the expiration of the permit, a new permit may be issued to the former permit holder upon submission of a new application. In such a case, applicants may be permitted to incorporate by reference any required information or documentation filed with a previous application.
2. If permits are requested for the same public area for the same time period, the County Administrator’s Office will issue permits on a first-come-first-serve basis.
3. It is the sole prerogative of the County to assign rooms based on anticipated group size, the nature of the event, and anticipated space needs for official purposes.
4. If possible, notification of cancellation should be made to the County at least 24 hours in advance of the proposed activities.
5. Due to the limitations on facilities and staff, the room configurations shall be approved by the County Administrator’s Office, in consultation with the applicant. No alterations in room configurations can be made without 24 hours advance notice and then only when the change requested is capable of being accomplished by the Facilities Management.
6. The user shall be responsible for returning the furniture and fixtures in the meeting room to its original configuration and condition at the conclusion of the meeting or other use. No nails, pins, or tape may be used on the walls or woodwork of any County building.
7. Permits will be granted only if the date is available. All premises shall be returned to the condition in which they were found.
8. The County Administrator’s Office shall initiate action to disapprove any application or to cancel an issued permit for use of a public area if the proposed use:
a. Is a commercial activity as defined in Appendix 1 of this Ordinance;
b. Obstructs the free ingress and egress of the users of a public area;
c. Damages the public building or any property within the public building;
d. Disrupts the official business of the agency or agencies occupying the public buildings;
e. Interferes with a tenant’s quiet enjoyment of their leasehold;
f. Interferes with a previously approved use of the public area by members of the public;
g. Is obscene within the meaning of obscenity in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.
h. Pertains to any judicial proceeding then pending in the public building and this use is intended to influence or impede the judicial proceeding; or
i. Is being conducted with a permit issued in response to an intentionally false or incomplete application. Upon initiating action to disapprove an application or to cancel an issued permit
for any of the above reasons, the County Administrator’s Office shall:
(1) Promptly notify the applicant or permittee (in writing) of the intent to disapprove or cancel and the reasons for this action; and
(2) Inform the applicant of his or her right to appeal the pending disapproval or cancellation to the Management Services Committee under subsection D. below of this Ordinance.
D. 1. Within seven (7) working days of notification of the initial decision to disapprove any application, or deny a fee request waiver, or cancel an issued permit under this Section, the applicant or permittee may appeal to the Management Services Committee by notifying the Committee, in writing, that he or she desires to appeal.
2. Although a formal hearing or presentation is not required, the applicant or permittee and the County Administrator shall have the opportunity to orally state the reasons that the application or cancellation should or should not be approved. Written materials and documents may also be submitted. The Management Services Committee shall affirm or reverse the County Administrator’s determination based on this information. The Management Services Committee shall affirm or reverse the Administrator’s determination within ten (10) working days of the date on which the Management Services Committee received the applicant or permittee’s notification of his or her desire to appeal. If the Management Services Committee does not rule within this period, the application will be considered to be approved or the permit validly issued. Upon reaching a decision on an appeal taken under this Section, the Management Services Committee shall promptly notify the applicant or permittee and the County Administrator of the decision and the reasons therefore. The decision of the Management Services Committee shall be final and shall represent the last step of administrative remedy available pursuant to this Ordinance.
E. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the County Administrator’s Office from:
1. Reserving the use of public areas of the public buildings for official County business;
2. Setting aside certain days or time for maintenance, construction, or repair; or
3. Preempting an approved use of a public area for official County business.
F. Public areas made available may be used during or after the regular working hours of County agencies, provided this after hour use will not interfere with the conduct of County business. When public areas are used by permittees after normal working hours, all adjacent areas not approved for after hours usage shall be locked, identified by signs, or physically barricaded, as appropriate, to restrict the participants’ movements to only that space or area(s) approved for usage. Appropriate notification of arrangements shall be made with building security in this regard. Under no circumstance will an afterhours meeting or event extend past 10:00 p.m. Security is required at all after-hours events in buildings that have security on duty during business hours. Arrange Security through the Sheriffs Office for the Government and Risk Management for the Administration Building.
G. The space to be provided under this Section is subject to a fee of $50.00 for a period of four hours or less. A fee of $100 will be charged for facility use greater than four hours but less than eight hours. The County Administrator may waive the fee if circumstances indicate doing so. If a request for a waiver of the fee is denied, the applicant has the opportunity to appeal said denial in accordance with subsection D. above of this Ordinance.
H. There shall be no alteration to public areas used under this Ordinance. The permittee must make adequate provisions for the:
1. Protection of the safety to users of the public area; and
2. Prevention of damage to the public building and County-owned equipment.
I. County-owned equipment, including overhead projectors, VCR’s, televisions, film projectors, and screens are not available for use.
J. The permittee shall not:
1. Misrepresent his or her identity;
2. Distribute any item for which the prior approval from the County Administrator’s Office has not been obtained;
3. Leave leaflets or other material unattended at any place on County-controlled property;
4. Conduct any activities in a misleading or fraudulent manner;
5. Discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, handicap, age, or national origin, in conducting the permitted activities.
K. Initial clean-up from the permitted activity shall be the responsibility of the applicant. The Facilities Management shall report related damage to the County Administrator immediately. The permittee shall be liable for all costs to repair damage caused by the permitted activity, including loss of County equipment.
(Ord. O-201112-12-049, § XI, passed 12-6-2011)