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City broadens drinking areas
Alcohol allowed at Court Square, Park Theater during events
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There will be no beer and alcohol at city-owned ballparks, but it will be allowed in certain areas of McMinnville during public and private events, if the event organizer meets guidelines and receives approval.
City board members accepted a resolution Tuesday night adopting a Parks and Recreation Alcohol Policy that allows alcohol and beer to be served or sold during events approved by the city at its Civic Center, Park Theater, The Lot, Court Square and Farmers Market. The resolution only pertains to areas owned by the city and excludes city ballparks.
The measure passed 5-2. Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Ryle Chastain, Steve Harvey and Everett Brock voted in favor of the resolution, while Aldermen Jimmy Bonner and Mike Neal voted against it. 
The resolution requires one read only and is now a done deal, while the city must still amend an existing “open container” ordinance that makes it illegal for a person to consume alcohol in public.
The amendment will include the following statement: “It is not a violation of this ordinance if the consumption of alcohol is approved pursuit to the Parks and Recreation Alcohol Policy.”
The measure to amend the ordinance passed 5-2 with the votes mirroring those of the resolution. Amending the ordinance requires one more read.
The resolution only pertains to those areas where beer and alcohol consumption is approved by the city during a specific event. If an individual leaves the designated area with an open container, he or she is then in violation of the city’s ordinance and can be cited by McMinnville Police Department.
“As soon as you leave that specific area, you are subject to the city’s ordinance and could be cited,” said Newman. “If you leave to go to the parking lot and you have an open container in your hand, you are in violation. If an event is approved for inside Park Theater, you can’t walk outside with an open container in your hand.”
Individuals looking to hold a public or private event and serve or sell alcohol must meet the following guidelines by the Parks and Recreation Alcohol Policy:
• Compliance with all state and city rules, regulations and laws, at the event (including licensing, permitting, and vending laws);
• Evidence of insurance protecting the city from liability when alcohol or beer is sold;
• Adherence to policies adopted by Parks and Recreation Department;
• Discretion of the director of Parks and Recreation, as to time and place, to approve or deny any specific request for approval considering other uses of a particular city property;
• Serving and consumption of alcohol or beer is not permitted at Gilley Pool premises;
• Application must be submitted to the director at least 30 days prior to the event.
The director of Parks and Recreation may revoke approval at any time for failure to comply. The applicant may appeal the director’s decision by submitting a written request for appeal to the city administrator at least 20 days prior to the date of the event whereupon the Parks and Recreation Committee may overturn the director’s decision. An applicant’s violation of this policy is cause for the director to deny any future applications for the violator.