Green light for alcohol sales in Owensboro park

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The Owensboro City Commission voted four to one to allow alcohol in Ben Hawes Park. Smothers Park was thrown out.

A big crowd showed up to Tuesday night's commission meeting to let their voices be heard on the alcohol in parks issue.

"I've got kids. My brother works with kids in the school system. I just think it's a bad idea to expose them to alcohol. 90 percent of people act responsively, but it's the 10 percent you have to worry about," said Chris Crabtree with Against Alcohol In Parks. 
The original vote was to allow alcohol in Smothers Park and Ben Hawes Park, but after some public concern, that changed.
"We had a lot of people to call and email. We thought we would try to compromise and try to make everybody happy. Have a win-win situation," said Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Smith-Wright.
That situation is alcohol will not be allowed in the new Smothers Park at anytime.
"We want everyone to feel welcome. If it means people would have not brought their children down because of alcohol then this will stop that," Smith-Wright said.
"I know what I'm getting into when I take my kids down there. I know what to expect," Crabtree said.
Alcohol will be sold at the Ben Hawes Park Golf Course.
"I'm not a golfer, but most golf courses you check, they all have a club house and there's beer," Smith-Wright said.
Wright says people already sneak beer onto the golf course at Ben Hawes, adding the new alcohol offer will help put a stop to that.
"This way we can kind of regulate it," Smith-Wright said.
"I do agree that it will limit the use and I do hope they hire some rangers to help monitor the actions on the golf course," Crabtree said.
Beer sales won't start for a couple of months.
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