By Andrea Earnest | Enterprise Staff
The number of special events in Plainfield has increased steadily in recent years, and some officials are recommending a cap be placed on the total amount allowed in a year.
Police Chief John Konopek presented a report on 2015 special events to the Plainfield Village Board at its Feb. 1 meeting. He noted that the amount of special events increases each year, with the number amounting to almost one special event per week.
The actual number of special events has increased from 15 in 2012 to 30 in 2015, according to board documents. Because of this, Konopek suggested that an annual cap be put on the number of special events.
“We would make the suggestion to the board that they take a look at possibly putting a cap on some of the events,” Konopek said, adding that the cost the village generates is minimal for some events.
In the report, cruise nights was considered one event, but the weekly car show actually occurs 14 times throughout the summer. Of the 30 listed events last year, 20 required village personnel to be on-site and managing the event, according to board documents.
According to the report, The village often doesn’t receive any money back from the event, despite putting thousands of dollars into certain events. For example, the Plainfield Hometown Irish Parade cost the village $10,086.78 and the village billed nothing to the organizers of the parade.
The special event costs do include a volunteer rate for PEMA volunteers estimation purposes, but in reality, they do not get paid.
During the meeting, board members discussed the possibility of addressing special events and the cost to the village at an upcoming committee of the whole meeting.
Trustee Jim Racich said that if a group can’t pay for an event themselves, then it should be denied.
However, Village Administrator Brian Murphy said Plainfield has earned a reputation as being a great community to visit because of its special events. Several trustees agreed with Murphy, saying the events bring the community together.
“What these events do is they enrich our community, and they generate business,” said Trustee Garrett Peck, adding that the events draw in people from outside Plainfield that get to see the community.
As for upcoming events, the board approved road closures for several 2016 special events, including the annual Hometown Irish Parade – scheduled for March 13.
Konopek said attendance really depends on the weather, adding that the number of entrants in the parade is capped at 80.
The 2016 Fast Cat 10K Run – set for April 2 at 8 a.m. – was also approved. Konopek said the 2-hour race has a minimal effect on roadways.
Another race, the Wounded Warrior 5K, will take place May 28. Konopek said the event will move to Plainfield North High School this year. Typically, the race occurs at Settlers’ Park, but it had to be moved due to planned construction.
All events, along with road closures, were unanimously approved.