Town Common Excluded From Limited Alcohol Use In Parks & Recreation Facilities

Greenville City Council voted to allow limited alcohol in city parks and recreation areas but not in Town Common.

The original proposed alcohol policy included limited consumption and sale of beer & wine in Town Common, Eppes Recreation Center, River Park North, and Magnolia Arts Center. Bradford Creek Golf Course already sells beer & wine but would still need to be re-written into a new alcohol ordinance.

Councilmember Richard Croskery made a motion to exclude Town Common from the policy which passed 4-2.

The majority of council deciding that it might be harder to contain alcohol consumption in such a large space as Town Common.

Councilmember Rose Glover voted against the policy saying she is totally against any policy including alcohol in parks, while councilmember Marion Blackburn voted no because she wanted the original policy adopted that included Town Common.

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The Greenville City Council has a full agenda for Monday night, including taking another look at a policy proposal that stirred up conversation and concerns on August 25th.

At that August 25th meeting, Greenville Recreation and Parks Director Gary Fenton presented a drafted proposal outlining the possible sale and consumption of alcohol in some public park areas. The proposal outlined the following key points:

- allow beer and wine consumption and sale at some public parks
- only allowed for private use
- allowed in only four locations: the Town Common, River Park North, Magnolia Arts Center and a section of the Eppes Recreation Center

In his proposal, Fenton noted those hosting the event where alcohol would be sold would maintain full liability, and they would be required to have security and liability insurance.

A handful of Greenville residents made their case why the proposal should or should not be considered further.

On August 25th, the council opted to table the discussion until the September 8th meeting, allowing the public more time to look over the proposal.

To get a look at that policy, click here.

Check back on this story after the city council meeting to find out more about their decision.


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The decision to possibly change Greenville's alcohol policy when it comes to its parks and recreation facilities is raising some concern and some support.

Greenville residents got a chance to sound off at a public meeting Monday night and learn more about how the change could affect them.

Whether to allow limited alcohol consumption and sale in four of Greenville's parks and recreation facilities is a hot button issue.

Greenville resident Adele Grier says, "We need to remain a family value oriented community."

Pitt County NAACP President Calvin Henderson said, "Regardless of your feeling, alcohol and crime go hand in hand."

The majority of those at Monday night's public hearing had concerns for the proposed policy that Greenville Recreation and Parks Director Gary Fenton has been working on for months.

After looking at similar policies in other cities, Fenton created a draft.

It would allow beer and wine to be consumed and sold at River Park North after public hours and for private use only, and at the Magnolia Arts Center and a section of the Eppes Recreation Center too.

But the one place that seemed to bring the most debate was Town Common.

Alcohol could be sold there between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and there would be a fenced in drinking area, which drew mixed reviews.

Fenton says, "We don't want alcohol there all the time obviously. I see this as something that would be associated with certain events."

Bianca Shoneman, Director of Uptown Greenville, says she's in favor of the proposal. In fact, she thinks it's even a little too limiting, like requiring those 21 and over to be inside a fence while drinking at the town common.

Resident Nadja Warth also supports the policy. She says, "Greenville is a growing community. It's college students here. It's older. It's young, and I feel like you shouldn't put a hold on it just because of what you're used to doing."

Neal Carr, a former Baltimore police officer and concerned resident said, "There should not be any public drinking period. I need a place where I can take my grand baby where we can sit around and have a great time."

But there are some who are not taking a strong stand.

James Teel fishes frequently at River Park North. He says, "To each his own. It doesn't matter to me because I'm not going to be out here after hours."

Fenton says the liability would fall on whatever nonprofit is hosting the event.

He says they'd also be required to have security and liability insurance .

The city council will now consider the recommendations made at the meeting, and on their Facebook page and make a decision sometime in September.

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People will have the chance to chime in to the ongoing discussion of whether or not alcohol consumption should be allowed at certain parks when a meeting is held about the issue Monday.

That meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. at the Greenville Council Chambers on West Fifth Street.

Included in the discussion will be a presentation explaining a draft of the policy which would allow limited sales, service and consumption of alcoholic drinks in certain parks at 6 p.m.

Following the presentation, questions and comments will be welcomed.


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