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Kalispell Expands Public Properties Where Alcohol Can Be Consumed
City council agrees to let special events consume and sell beer and wine at new locations
The Kalispell City Council voted 7-1 on Monday to increase the number of public sites where beer and wine can be consumed, adding Depot Park and the enclosed facility at Woodland Park.

After debating the merits of alcohol consumption on public property, council approved the first reading of an ordinance that allows the city to issue special event permits at more locations.

Councilor Bob Hafferman voted against the motion and Jeff Zauner was absent.

The new sites are Depot Park, the Kalispell Lakers legion baseball fields and the enclosed hockey rink at Woodland Park. The ordinance also stipulates that nonprofit organizations can hold events with alcohol, such as ThursdayFest, within the commercial district of Kalispell. Previously, organizations were required to keep the sale and consumption of alcohol on private property.

The ordinance also expands the availability of previously allowed sites to the surrounding grounds, such as the Hockaday Museum of Art and the Conrad Mansion.

Organizations that wish to serve alcohol at the approved city sites must apply for a special event permit. The city manager will review the applications and recommend approval or disapproval based on a list of requirements, including security, damage deposits and barriers that combat underage drinking. The permits require the OK from city council.

Resident Joe Apple raised his disapproval once again in the public comment period, reminding the city of alcohol-related deaths and costs incurred from accidents.

“You have to be thinking about the impact of alcohol related events on our whole community,” he said.

Click here to read the city ordinance.

RELATED: Alcohol in City Parks?
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