Council OKs beer sales

March 11, 2011 • Local News

The City Council voted to approve the possibility of alcohol sales at baseball games slated to be held by an independent minor league, the Roswell Invaders, Thursday, during its regular monthly meeting. The council approved, following a 6-2 vote, to remove the words “nonalcoholic” beverages from a two-year contract signed with the city by the Pecos League.

The original contract stipulated that only non-alcoholic beverages could be sold during games. “From Day 1 when we came here, we thought alcohol was in the equation,” said Andrew Dunn, commissioner of the Pecos League. [auth] “This is a very controlled environment.” Councilors Elena Velasquez and Jason Perry voted against the measure. Councilor Bob Maples, who traditionally opposes licenses for beer and alcohol sales, abstained from the vote.

Dunn explained to officials during an hour – long workshop held prior to the council’s regular meeting, that the beer would be sold by a third party licensed distributor — which adheres to stringent state guidelines with regard to the sales. Councilors expressed some minor concerns over the sale of beer and how it would be implemented, questioning whether alcohol consumption would be allowed only in certain areas.

Councilor Jimmy Craig said that he didn’t want people “spilling beer on grandma,” while walking through the stands. The council also voted to approve hosting a public hearing regarding a proposed increase in garbage collection and disposal rates. The recommendation by city staf f would increase residential collection and disposal by $1.50 per month, with an additional increase of $1 in each of the next six years.

The increase would bring the initial monthly charge to $11.75. City staff is also recommending a rate hike for the city’s landfill, saying that the extra money is needed in order to maintain the fund. Officials remarked how Roswell’s tipping fees are so low, that surrounding communities are sometimes transporting their commercial solid waste to Roswell’s landfill.

“If you have any concerns, come and speak,” said Velasquez, who remarked that she usually votes against rate hikes, but added that sometimes they are necessary to sustain the city’s funds. The public hearing will be held at April’s regular monthly council meeting.

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