Junior Auxiliary will be offering beer as a fundraiser at Smokin’ in McMinnville set for Aug. 9-10 at the Civic Center. The group received approval by McMinnville officials Tuesday night.
Officials voted 5-2 to allow the group to sell beer. Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman, and Aldermen Rick Barnes, Billy Wood and Jimmy Bonner voted in favor of it. Aldermen Mike Neal and Ken Smith voted against it.
Smith says he will attend the event, soda in hand, but his beliefs require him to vote against offering beer.
“Due to religious beliefs, I will vote no on this issue,” Smith said. “I am certainly in favor of Smokin’ in McMinnville. I was never trying to do away with it, but I do have religious beliefs that alcohol is wrong, according to the holy scriptures. So, I will vote no on this.”
Newman says he believes the special-event beer permit is something the city should offer, because Junior Auxiliary has already expended funds believing the event would be sanctioned and a permit issued.
“The Junior Auxiliary group has spent funds on insurance and they have spent funds on the non-refundable application fee,” he said. “They spent over $600 so far because this event has been sanctioned every year. It makes sense to sanction it again.”
The permit fee is $100 and is non-refundable. In submitting the application, the group had to purchase insurance that covered the selling of beer and included a $1 million liability limit listing the city as an additional insurer.
Smokin’ in McMinnville began in 2009, without beer being legally offered. The only complaint received by the city was the absence of beer. Officials passed a resolution the following year that allowed one nonprofit organization to apply for a permit and sell beer.
The permit regulates the selling of beer during the event. Before beer can be sold to an individual, they must show photo ID proving they are at least 21 years old in order to obtain a wrist band. Beer can only be served in cups no larger than 16 ounces and no beer consumption is allowed off premises.
According to McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton, the permit has removed issues the department saw in 2009.
“We did have some issues the first year,” Denton said. “Regulation has made police activity at the event nonexistent. For the last two to three years, we really haven’t had any issues.”