Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Keeping My Thoughts Straight

Day two of attempting to find a venue for the event, and all the county red tape has my head spinning. In the interest of holding so much new information in my head, as well as aiding anyone else who attempts this process, I'm going to jot it down here.

I spoke with Palm Harbor Middle School, who told me that the project needed to be approved through the PCSB, since it would be a 501-c donating to another 501-c. After speaking with the financial office at the school board, they told me that it could indeed be approved, with the caveat that the club director for the club that would be hosting the event agrees, the club members agree, and the club has already had less than two fundraisers this year. If that's the case, the club director is able to submit a request to the principal. If the principal likes the idea, it is then submitted to the assistant superintendent for approval. Once he or she signs off on it, it's a go.This means that the middle school may be a viable option, but the thick forest of red tape to be sliced through is making somewhere public a somewhat more appealing option. 

Unfortunately, somehow 'public' and 'free' don't seem to equate to one another. Almost all of the public parks have event fees, only 25% of which are waived for a charity. Fred Howard Park seemed like a good location, but unfortunately there is a $2,500 road closure permit fee for the paved area, so the overwhelming cost of the road closure pretty much writes it out.

I'm hoping perhaps the Dunedin Causeway doesn't charge for events, since I couldn't find anything on their website. It seems to be almost impossible to wade through the endless labyrinth of "Press 1" and "Press 2", only to repeatedly find a busy signal that hangs up on you at the other end to speak to someone at their offices, so perhaps the Causeway is a free-for-all. I'm leaving it on the table as a possibility. 


Around, and around, and around we go. I finally got a hold of Honeymoon Island State Park, which advertises the Dunedin Causeway on its website. They promptly directed me to another line, a single digit away. After calling this alternate office, I am informed that Honeymoon Island State Park does not own the Dunedin Causeway- it's the property of the City of Dunedin. The cheerful phone operator at HISP gave me the phone contact for the City of Dunedin, which I called. Unfortunately, the offices for the City of Dunedin close at 4:00, so I just missed them while I was navigating the school board maze. Good thing my project plan budgets 7 days for this - it might take the whole week! 

*Update Update*

The City of Dunedin called me back this morning, and their Special Events Coordinator explained to me that the Dunedin Causeway has three elements in play: the beach, the sidewalk, and the street. The beach is owned by Dunedin Parks & Rec, the sidewalk is owned by Pinellas County Parks and Rec, and the street itself belongs to the City of Dunedin- so depending on where things are located, I could need as many as three permits to do this there. She also informed me that relatively nothing else as far as the city parks go is wheelchair accessible, so I may have to make the causeway work. Unfortunately, the causeway isn't 5k long- in order to make the run a 5k, I'd have to have the runners loop back up the other bridge and come back- and the looping back requires a road closure, which brings us again to the $2,500 road closure permit. Ack.

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