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Park Theater alcohol debate uncorked
City officials weigh options
Pirtle-TimWEB
City attorney Tim Pirtle

McMinnville officials are considering a measure that will broaden the city’s policy to allow alcohol to be sold at public events at city facilities such as Park Theater and the Civic Center. Currently, alcohol is only allowed during private events.
“I’ll make a motion to recommend to the full board that alcohol can be sold at public events, subject to applicable state law and any other regulations,” said Alderman Ben Newman during Tuesday night’s Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.
Newman says the city won’t be selling the alcohol.
“This isn’t saying the city is going to sell alcohol at public events,” he said. “Right now, our policy only allows it at private events or that’s the way it seems to be in our policy. This would allow public events too, whether it be a caterer or someone like that, to sell it.”
The change would allow someone to rent McMinnville Civic Center or the city’s Park Theater for an event, such as a concert, sell tickets to it, and offer alcohol during it. Current policy only allows alcohol to be served if the event is not open to the public, such as a wedding.
City attorney Tim Pirtle recommends including different rules for different venues – specifically, removing Gilley Pool as a venue.
“If you were going to adopt a policy where it’s possible for alcohol to be vended by third parties at public functions, I assume you would contemplate a whole set of rules in different venues,” he said. “Obviously, the swimming pool would have all kinds of safety concerns you might not allow as a venue. I guess the first order of business is where will you allow public functions? Then, there would be different regulations on where, when and under what circumstances.”
The measure passed 2-1. Newman and Alderman Steve Harvey voted in favor, while Alderman Jimmy Bonner voted against it. Before the measure is sent to the full board, committee members will draft a policy addressing different venues offered by the city.