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City considers expanding beer to public parks
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McMinnville officials will be considering measures Tuesday night that would allow selling alcohol or beer at public events on city property.
The measures specifically states, “Alcohol and beer may be served or sold on and in parks and buildings which the city of McMinnville owns for both public and private events.”
Aldermen Mike Neal is steadfast against the move.
“This would include our ballfields and everything,” said Neal. “I’m going to be in total opposition. Hopefully, I’m not the only one. I haven’t spoken to any of the other board members about this so I don’t know what anybody else thinks, but I’m definitely against this.”
In December, the city Parks and Recreation Committee discussed a measure to broaden the city’s Alcohol Policy to allow alcohol to be sold at public events at city facilities such as Park Theater and the Civic Center. Current policy only allows alcohol to be served if the event is not open to the public, such as a wedding.
Neal said the restriction at ballfields needs to remain in place to keep from setting a bad example to children.
“We have DARE officers to teach our kids the ramifications of abusing drugs and alcohol,” he said. “Yet some on the board do not want to be an example to our kids. They want to put it out there right in front of them.”
Less than one year ago, city officials removed a 300-foot distance restriction in the downtown historic district between churches, schools and establishments that sell beer. Originally under consideration was removing the distance restriction citywide. The controversial measure caused an uproar and ended with a compromise by board members to lift the restriction from the historic district only.
Neal says he is shocked another alcohol-related issue is back under consideration.
“I’m a little troubled with this board with what seems like the infatuation with having alcohol within hand-reach at all places,” Neal said. “That’s the interpretation I get. That troubles me. Some board members seem to want it available at all places at all times.”
The measures are on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen session at 7 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall.