Milton could scrap alcohol prohibition in city parks

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Neil Johnson
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MILTON--A potential ordinance change in Milton could allow a city park user to enjoy a bottle of wine with their boyfriend of girlfriend along with a picnic dinner in the grass.

Wouldn’t that be quaint?

Under a staff proposal approved by the city council Tuesday, the city could scrap an ordinance that now prohibits alcohol use in city-owned parks except for people who get city beer permits 30 days in advance of a park rental.

In the proposal, City Administrator Jerry Schuetz asked the council to consider ditching “old language” in a city ordinance that completely prohibits alcohol in parks.

Schuetz also proposed the council consider tossing out a city policy that requires anyone who wants to have a gathering with alcohol at a city park to get a beer permit 30 days in advance.

Schuetz said the change would also eliminate a permitting process for park beer permitting process, including city hall and police department staff time spent dealing with hundreds of applications a year for park beer permits.

He said it also would make city park rentals easier for residents and create a more inviting atmosphere for people who want to use city parks.

According to city clerk’s records Milton now issues about 130 to 150 beer permits a year for park functions. Fees for the permits is $10 for residents and $20 for non-residents.

Schuetz said the current rules on alcohol in park seem contradictory.

“One could argue that it would appear to be contradictory to have an ordinance that prohibits alcohol consumption in a city park and then a permit process that allows it 130 to 150 times a year,” Schuetz wrote in a memo to the council.

Tuesday, Schuetz put it more simply. The contrasting rules on alcohol in parks “don’t really make a lot of sense,” he said.

For more on this story, read Wednesday's Gazette, The Gazette's e-edition or check back at gazettextra.com

Last updated: 8:24 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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