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Riverside Park in Oakmont to Remain Alcohol-Free

The Oakmont Recreation Board recommended that council consider allowing alcohol in the park for special events, but the idea was turned down.

Riverside Park in Oakmont currently is an alcohol-free park—and it will remain that way.

On Monday, Oakmont Councilwoman Laurie Saxon presented a recommendation from the borough rec board to council, suggesting that officials consider allowing alcohol to be consumed at the park.

The rec board recommended that alcohol should be allowed by special exception at the pavilions and during special events held at the upper field—such as the Oakmont Lions Club concerts in the park—as long as officials receive notice a month in advance.

However, officials were not sold on the idea and nixed it.

"I don't see any positives," said Councilman Tim Favo.

Some officials were concerned about what it would do to insurance costs.

Borough Manager Lisa Cooper Jensen said liability insurance most likely would increase.

Mayor Robert Fescemyer expressed concern that it would "open a Pandora's box." He mentioned other communities' police departments have had problems with riots and incidents involving alcohol in parks.

Councilwoman Nancy Ride said she's attended concerts where alcohol is allowed at Hartwood Acres in O'Hara Township, and she hasn't noticed a problem.

"I know the logic is that more alcohol means more problems, but I wonder if that's true," she said.

Officials also noted that the park is an area for families, and it is abutted by residences and a school.

"I'd like to keep it that way," Saxon said.

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Ernie December 05, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Very interesting. I never really thought about this until I read the article. Looking back at the picnics I attended over the past couple of years, I must say that alcohol was available at most of them. These included a very large family reunion, a college graduation, and some high school graduations. I can understand people who would want to have beer and wine at a big family reunion, or other family party where there is a significant number of adults. It just seems like a natural thing at a big outdoor party. I have issues with parents who allow alcohol at a high school graduation party (just for the adults of course), but that is NOT the topic of this discussion. The issue is having alcohol in the park. And even more specific, I suppose it is alcohol in the pavilion areas. I could support allowing adults to have alcohol in a private party in the pavilions, but it looks like that won't be allowed.

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