ELLISVILLE — Local musical and dance groups may now reserve performance times without a fee at the newly renovated covered amphitheater stage in Bluebird Park, under guidelines approved Wednesday by the City Council.
The city is waiving its rental fee and insurance requirements to allow such groups to hold free concerts at the park stage, 225 Kiefer Creek Road.
Mayor Mike Roemerman said the city has long allowed people to walk in and use the stage, “but this proposal just formalizes a reservation system … so users can count on the space being available to them, as long as they don't charge listeners.”
The amphitheater stage can be reserved from April through October until 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays; until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and until 8 p.m. on Sundays. The facility may be reserved until dusk every day from November through March.
Groups would not be able to use the facility if the city had a concert or other use planned for the stage.
Lisa Blumer, director of parks and recreation, said the city generally gets paid reservations for use of the stage about five times a year.
If the free program becomes popular, Roemerman said, "we may go to charging a small fee to capture some of our overhead.”
Also on Wednesday night, the council approved Roemerman's appointment of Rob Compton to fill the unexpired term of Councilman Stephen Chismarich, who has moved out of state. Compton will serve until the April 2022 election.
Compton previously has been chairman of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and is the son of the late Clark Compton, who also served as a District 1 council member.