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Parks board could make changes to alcohol policy

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Board will vote to approve changes to the alcohol policy.

Possible changes at Salomon Farm Park and Promenade Park were requested because the parks department intends to make the buildings available as rental facilities, often hosting parties where alcohol is served.

This also includes all three of the golf courses in the city. They are at Shoaff, McMillen and Foster Parks. Mitch Sheppard with the park department said this would only allow alcohol on the course. "Not the extra parts of the park. Not the playground; not the places where people are playing. Only the golf course."

Sheppard also said this doesn't include everyday use. She said it's all event -based. "You can't just put your cooler on the back of a cart and go enjoy but if it is part of a supervised, organized event approved at the golf course that could be a possibility."

The usage at Salomon and Promenade Parks would also be because of events. Promenade Park will have a lot of concerts and shows. "We anticipate that being a very festive and festival-based area and we can easily see both the park department and other organizations wanting to use that space for events that do contain alcohol. One of the ways we that we supplement the costs of maintaining our park facilities is by renting them out for private events. Often those events will serve champagne or have a bar."

Right now the current policy doesn't allow any alcohol on the courses or in the areas where the parks are being built.

NewsChannel 15 talked to the manager of all three courses but he didn't want to comment unless there is a change. We also talked to four different golfers. They were all for it, and three of them said they don't even drink. But that others may go elsewhere if they do. "What we're doing is really just bringing us up in line with what the private sector is already doing, what's already been going on," Sheppard said.

The Board will give the community a month to look at the policy change.

"So we are actually just reading into the record then the community will have a month to look at the policy and then they can contact the parks department and let them know about their beliefs on that."

The proposal will be discussed and voted on at the board's June meeting.

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