Alcohol could be coming this summer to the Wellington farmer’s market and future private events at town hall.
Village council mulled over the issue at a meeting May 16. Mayor Hans Schneider said he looks at it as something that can be beneficial if handled responsibly.
“We had talked about this first for the farmer’s market,” he said. “I know Main Street Wellington has always had a wine tent there but they’ve always had to put it off of the property. That detracts from the idea of keeping everything there close together. If we can find a way to change that, it would encourage more people and vendors to take part.”
Schneider said events hosted at village hall such as birthday, anniversary, and graduation parties could also begin to allow alcohol but not before the village hears opinions from all sides and takes necessary legal steps.
“Do we want to open the door for hard liquor?” asked council member Guy Wells. “I would be more eager to see this happen if it meant wine and beer only.”
Fellow council member Mark Bughman highlighted the importance of new signage if alcohol is allowed on village property. Police Lt. Jeff Shelton agreed and said an officer should be present at any event with alcohol.
“We brought this issue up now because we want to get people talking about it so Main Street can get some guidance going into the summer,” said Schneider. “Some great questions came up tonight regarding what this means for our insurance and what kind of signs we would need. Maybe it will be determined that hard liquor raises too many issues but beer and wine are OK. That’s great. We could adjust to that.”
Main Street Wellington director Jenny Arntz has seen similar proposals work well in other cities and villages.
“Main Street Amherst generates a lot of funds from their alcohol sales,” she said. “I think it could be done, especially if a police officer could be there to help with crowd control.”
The farmer’s market will be held every Friday evening from June 17 to Oct 14. It will move from the old McCormick Middle School site to village square this year.
“This is my first year in this position but I can imagine the difficulty my predecessors have faced with having to have the tent off-site,” said Arntz. “It would be very nice to move the tent to village property so that we don’t have to find extra volunteers to work at two separate locations.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Council weighs the pros and cons of allowing alcohol for certain events on village property May 16.