Helena may revise open container, special events permitting process

Nolan Lister

The Helena City Commission is expected to approve revisions to city code regarding special event and open container permitting at an upcoming meeting.

City Attorney Rebecca Dockter proposed the rather extensive rewrite that includes the addition of a new section to the city’s code during an April 5 meeting.

The new section of code, Title 9 “Parades, Special Events, Tours, and Vendors,” states any such events, including the sale of merchandise, food or beverages, operating on city rights-of-way must secure a permit from the Helena Transportation Systems Department.

The resolution pertaining to the code changes states the permit will come with a fee “as established by the City Commission.”

Every event, from Montana Pride to a neighborhood block party, will need a permit to operate, which requires event planners to secure liability insurance.

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Tour businesses are now also lumped into the special events designation. The resolution specifically mentions the “tour train,” or Last Chance Tours.

“We’ve included tours; that was a change because there was in the past no allowance for things like the tour train we know has been going on for a long time,” Dockter

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