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Alcohol sales on next agenda for Longview parks board

By Jimmy Isaac
Aug. 21, 2011 at 10 p.m.

A noon meeting today of the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board could be the next step to securing alcoholic beverage sales at a downtown park.

Longview Chamber of Commerce leaders have asked the city to allow sales of alcoholic beverages at permitted events in downtown or specified parks. The targeted facility is Heritage Park, at Green, Methvin and Hoover streets, where a number of groups have expressed interest in holding events but will not confirm without the ability to serve alcohol, chamber Vice President Paul Anderson said Sunday. Alcohol is not allowed in any city park or facility except Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center, where renters can obtain alcohol permitting.

"It will give us an ability to use (the park) more broadly," Anderson said. "It will be done the same way that alcohol at Maude Cobb is handled."

Community Resources Director Laura Hill said the request first surfaced in the chamber's Main Street division and "went up through their administrative processes," with chamber executives voting in favor of the recommendation this past Thursday.

"We knew it was coming up, so we put it on the agenda," Hill said.

Alcohol is served at the city's annual AlleyFest weekend through a third-party concessionaire that obtains its own alcohol sales permit from the city and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Anderson said.

Heritage Park is the site of small weddings, gatherings and the chamber's Brown Bag Lunch series, in which area musicians perform during lunchtime hours on spring and fall Fridays. Anderson said the request involves "downtown parks," in case future parks are built in that area.

Also during today's meeting at the Development Services Conference Room, at 415 S. High Street, will be a request to name a water splash pad at Lear Park in honor of community and business leader Jack Mann, Jr., a partner in the Made-Rite Co., and longtime benefactor of Longview municipal recreational facilities and events, Hill said.



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