Ames City Council to vote on a resolution for 801 Day penalties

A large gathering as part of 801 day, an annual day of partying across Iowa State University and Ames. 

A large gathering as part of “801 day,” an annual day of partying across Iowa State University and Ames. 

Amber Mohmand

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Ames City Council will vote on a resolution authorizing the enhanced penalties for nuisance party violations during 801 Day weekend. 

In a 4-1 vote, the Council voted in July to increase fines from $100 to $650, a $550 increase, for first time violations as well as subsequent offenses from $200 to $855, a $655 increase. This decision came after an extensive discussion the council had last week and multiple complaints from residents living in Ames.  

Ward 4 Rep. Rachel Junck voted against the ordinance while Ward 1 Rep. Gloria Betcher was not present at the meeting. 

A nuisance party is defined in section 17.30 of the Ames Municipal Code as “a social gathering or party which is conducted on premises within the City and which, by reason of the conduct of those persons in attendance, results in any one or more of the following conditions of events occurring at the site of the said party or social gathering, or on neighboring public or private property: public intoxication; unlawful consumption of beer, wine or alcoholic beverages in a public place; outdoor urination or defecation in a public place; the unlawful sale, furnishing, dispensing or consumption of beer, wine or alcoholic beverages; underage or unlawful possession of beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages; the unlawful deposit of litter or refuse; the damage or destruction of property without the consent of the property owner; unlawful pedestrian or vehicular traffic; standing or parking of vehicles that obstructs the free flow of traffic on the public streets and sidewalks or that impedes the ability to render emergency services; unlawfully loud noise; fighting; or, any other conduct or condition that threatens injury to persons or damage to property is hereby declared to be an unlawful public nuisance.” 

If a party becomes a nuisance, the police can order an immediate cease and dispersal. Those who refuses or fails to obey the order are guilty of violating the section, according to the Ames Municipal Code. 

Originally, the ordinance was proposed to deter students from engaging in “risky behavior” on the Saturday before classes begin. But now that 801 day has increasingly become a destination for people from out of town, complaints from residents in the area have also grown, according to city documents. The fine amount proposed was $750 for first-time offenders and $1,000 for subsequent offenses to try and deter students and out-of-town visitors to Ames from engaging in said behavior.  

Specifically for Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will have the option to: 

  1. Authorize the enhanced penalties for nuisance party violations ($650 for a first offense and $855 for each repeat offense) beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Aug.  19 and ending at 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 21

  2. Authorize the enhanced penalties for nuisance party violations as described in Alternative 1 but modify the times and/or dates.

  3. Do not authorize enhanced penalties for nuisance party violations. 

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ames City Hall. Those who wish to watch the meeting can do so through the city’s YouTube channel. More information of the Ames City Council meeting can be found on its website