POSTED: Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 3:37pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 5:13pm
East Baton Rouge Parish, La — East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden this week signed the ordinance passed by the Metro Council which will allow BREC to serve and sell alcohol at select facilities in a much more efficient and customer-oriented pro! cess. The Mayor’s action clears the way for BREC to apply for alcohol licenses for these facilities from the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge Office of Alcohol Beverage Control and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight and the BREC Commission want to make it clear that this new ordinance does not change BREC’s prohibition of consumption of alcohol in its parks when not associated with a special event.
The next step in the process is that each facility will be inspected to ensure that it complies with all local and state ordinances during a 30-day period in which a sign notifying the public of the facility’s intent to obtain an alcohol beverage permit will be displayed in plain view.
"I want to thank everyone who helped BREC develop a very clear, well-thought out plan which will help us better serve the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish, said McKnight. "Before this ordinance was passed, anyone who wanted to rent a facility for a wedding reception, 50th anniversary celebration, company picnic ! or athletic tournament had to go through a three month process in order to learn whether alcohol could be served or sold. We know many had to take their events elsewhere and that is why we’ve spent the better part of a year working to make this change happen."
The following sites are designated as sites allowing conditional service and consumption of alcoholic beverages:
• Golf Course Sites
• Beaver Creek
• Dumas Memorial
• Historic City Park
• Howell Park
• Santa Maria
• Webb Memorial
Facility Rental Sites
• Baton Rouge Gallery
• Baton Rouge Zoo
• Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
• Cohn Arboretum
• Independence Park Garden Center
• Independence Park Theatre
• Jefferson Highway Recreation Center
• Magnolia Mound Plantation
• Milton J. Womack Recreation Center Ball Room
• The Waterfront at Greenwood Community Park
Sporting Event and Tournament Sites
• Burbank Soccer Complex
• Central Community Sports Park
• City Park Tennis Center
• Forest Park Tennis Center
• Goldsby Field
• Greenwood Park Tennis Center
• Highland Road Park Tennis Center
• Independence Park Tennis Center
• Memorial Sports Complex
• Oak Villa Softball Complex
• Olympia Stadium
Festival and Fair Sites
• Airline Highway Fairgrounds
• Zachary Community Park
Due to the nature of the activities and the age of patrons associated with some BREC facilities, no alcoholic beverages will be allowed or alcohol permit requests approved for these Special Facilities:
• J.S. Clark Park Golf Course (home of The First Tee junior golf program)
• Liberty Lagoon and all swimming pools
• Perkins Road Community Park Extreme Sports Complex
Golf courses with restaurant facilities will be able to serve alcohol during the times permitted by the ordinance. All other designated BREC facilities will only allow alcohol to be served or sold during special events or adult tournaments.
"Each of these facilities has created its own individual alcohol policy to ensure that we have taken into account the types of events they will hold, the layout of each facility and the type of security that will be required," said McKnight. "We also want to make sure that our visitors understand this ordinance does not change the law which prohibits alcohol from being consumed in our parks. This change only affects a fraction of our facilities and will be primarily associated with special events and facility rentals. We have made sure that each site has a designated area in which alcohol can be served and that it will only be served by trained staff or licensed caterers."
Until the process is complete, anyone who would like to hold an event at a BREC facility which involves alcohol must have their request approved by a BREC committee, the BREC Commission, the Metro Council and the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge Office of Alcohol Beverage Control.