Creating art during Art in the Park

The Geneva Lake Arts Foundation’s annual Art In the Park event is among the nonprofit events that now can go forward without city fees. (File photo/Regional News)

Nonprofit groups can now save some money when hosting events in Lake Geneva.

The city council April 8 unanimously agreed to waive a permit policy fee previously collected from nonprofit groups for holding fundraisers or other community events.

Such fees cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and made it difficult for nonprofits to raise money.

The city previously waived fees for some nonprofit groups, while charging others.

City Council President Ken Howell said the new policy is more consistent and fair to all nonprofits.

“I hope this is going to solve the long-standing problem of fighting over who we collect from and who we don’t collect from,” Howell said. “I think this will fix the problem of having to pick and choose who we charge.”

Alderman John Halverson said the fee waiver is a way of rewarding nonprofit groups for providing services in the community.

“I think it’s a positive message to the local groups,” he said.

Nonprofit groups will still have to obtain a temporary liquor license — which includes an application fee — if they plan to sell alcohol at their events.

The new policy includes a tiered fee structure for other residents and for-profit groups holding events.

Fees start at $25 for public assembly permits for small single-day events and go as high as $500 for multi-day events attracting 3,000 or more people, or including more than four hours of alcohol sales.

City Clerk Lana Kropf said she was pleased that the city adopted the new event permit policy.

“I think this is going to be great moving forward for everyone,” Kropf said. “So, I’m really excited.”