Marksville bans ‘for-profit’ events at city facilities

Marksville’s community centers will no longer be available as “pop up” night clubs or other for-profit events, the City Council decided at its Feb. 12 meeting.

Councilwoman Mary Sampson asked that the D.A. Jordan Center and Mary Bethune Youth Center no longer be rented for dances, concerts and “nightclub type activities.”

She said the events attract large crowds -- that quite possibly violate the Fire Marshal occupancy limit -- and have been marred by fights. They have become a concern to the neighborhood around the two city-owned facilities.

No more such events will be booked at those sites.

Renters who have paid their deposits will be able to hold their events, but will be asked to voluntarily agree to cancel their rental contract for the event and have their deposit returned to them.

It was pointed out that the organizers of the events pay $1,000 to rent the Bethune Center and sell tickets. They earn much more than that from ticket sales.

“They don’t have to have a building, pay insurance or pay the utilities,” Lemoine said. “We do all of that.”

He said if someone wants to conduct that type of business on a regular basis, they should get their own building and open a business.

Sampson said the site should be used for wedding receptions, family reunions, class reunions and community gatherings and not for what is in effect a for-profit business event.

A list of barred activities will be drawn up.

Pre-booked events will be reviewed and those running afoul of the new policy will be contacted to discuss their planned event.

In other action, the council:

-- Approved installing a street light at the corner of Laurel and Preston streets.

-- Sold two surplus vehicles to the highest bidders -- a 2001 Chevrolet to Betty McGee for $752.22 and a 2006 Ford truck to Troy Lavalais for $761.32.

-- Asked the state Department of Transportation and Development to reduce the speed limit near the Wishing Well gift store on La. Hwy 1.  

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Marksville, LA 71351
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