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Lehighton debates booze at rec center

Published March 26. 2010 05:00PM

A few months ago, Lehighton Borough Council discussed the possibility of allowing alcoholic beverages to be brought into the Lehighton Recreation Center for private parties.

The council discussed the matter further this week, and some council members don't like this idea.

No formal action was taken, giving the council the opportunity to weigh the both sides of the matter.

"I think it's asking for trouble," said council member John Bird. "There's going to be property damage, vomiting. In some people, it produces temporary insanity."

He asked, "Is it worth it?"

Councilman Darryl Arner was concerned about insurance rates if borough regulations are changed to permit the alcohol.

"I don't agree with it, either," voiced council member Melissa Ebbert.

Borough resident Carlos Teets asked the council, "Don't you have an ordinance prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes on borough property?"

A few months ago, Recreation Director Tom Evans had suggested that alcoholic beverages be permitted so that the Rec Center - or Community Center, as it is also called - could host small wedding receptions, anniversary parties, and other private social events. This, he said, would generate some revenue.

Arner said Evans assured that he would always be present at the events to make sure no damages occur.

The councilman than expressed concerns about the gym floor which was installed at the center. He said he had concerns that the composition floor might be damaged by ladies in high heels, resulting in expensive repairs.

Ebbert said if there's a chance the floor could be ruined, it's not worth it opening to such private events.

Arner's main concern was insurance. Attorney James Nanovic, the borough solicitor, said there's always a risk of liability, but "that's why we have insurance." He said the only loss to the borough regarding liability would be the deductible, which might be about $5,000.

Borough Treasurer Nicole Tessitore was instructed to check if there would be any change in insurance premiums if the council changed the Rec Center policy to allow alcohol on the premises.

Ebbert suggested that no vote be taken immediately. "I just feel we have to look at the pros and cons," she said.

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