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posted: 11/12/2013 6:06 PM

Carol Stream Park District to allow alcohol sales

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Visitors to McCaslin Park and Fountain View Recreation Center in Carol Stream may be allowed to drink beer and wine beginning next year.

The park district board this week unanimously agreed to allow alcohol sales at authorized adult softball tournaments and private rentals.

Under the new policy guidelines, a permit for alcohol sales must be approved by two administrators, including at least one who is a department director or Executive Director Arnie Biondo.

The park district will only consider a permit if it's not an event or rental primarily dedicated to children, Biondo said.

"Children's birthday party, parents on the sideline drinking, that's not going to happen," Biondo said. "If it's a children's activity, we won't go any further."

Other stipulations in the new policy include:

• Private security may be required at the discretion of the park district.

• Alcohol may not be served at any event or program involving swimming, boating or other events on or near water.

• Alcohol may only be served by park district-approved vendors.

• An adult park district employee must be present when alcohol is served.

Also, all vendors will be required to have the proper liquor license as required by the village of Carol Stream or the village of Winfield, DuPage County and the state.

Consideration of a policy change has been in the works for some time.

District staffers in 2012 talked to three other communities that have allowed alcohol sales in its park districts without problems.

In Mount Prospect, beer has been sold at the Majewski Athletic Complex since the mid-1980s when it started hosting national softball tournaments. In Crystal Lake, alcohol is served in a beer garden at the Boncosky Athletic Complex -- also home to many softball games.

Residents interested in renting rooms at Fountain View, which opened earlier this fall, had contacted the park district to inquire if alcohol will be allowed for parties, officials said.

At McCaslin Park the district experimented with beer and wine sales during two adult 16-inch softball tournaments.

The park district in July voted to approve temporary sales at two large, national softball tournaments run by the Slow-Pitch Softball Association. Park board President Tim Powers said sales of beer and wine at those two test cases went off without a hitch.

"We've done quite a bit of research and pilot testing," Biondo said.

Biondo said the district brought in close to $15,000 from those tournaments.

"It wasn't so much because of the money," Biondo said of the policy change. "An awful lot of customers have told us 'I sure wish I could get a beer after the game.' Adults were seeing this as adding value to their recreational experience. They weren't looking to get buzzed or drunk."

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