PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County has changed their Mass Gathering Rules, a process prompted by some issues that arose during last summer's eclipse.
Community Development Director Ann Beier says the process took several months, but she thinks it will make the process better in the future. "The County Court put a moratorium on accepting applications to give us time to really revise those provisions and I know there were some who were disappointed that we didn't get that process completed in a shorter time frame, and that was to protect the counties, but also to make the process clearer for applicants." That moratorium was pupt in place in September and the Court hopes to begin receiving event submissions again soon.
Beier says the 2017 eclipse brought to light some issues never before encountered, and instances of unsafe over-attendance created a need for stricter rules. "We changed our penalty provision, so if there are more people in attendance than are permitted for, there's a fairly substantial fine for those additional participants. We just want to keep track of who is on the property a little bit better." She tells KBND News, "I think probably the biggest change is providing some flexibility for smaller organizations or smaller events in terms of the amount of deposit that's required, but also allowing the County to have a higher deposit for larger events, and then I think the penalty provisions, if you violate any of the terms of your permit, there'll be significant financial penalties."
The County Court made the final decision following input from the Sheriff's Office, Community Development, County Health, merchant managers, and the public.