Ellie in Scheide Park

Herald photo/Garrett Dvorkin

Ellie technically defied an ordinance by briefly enjoying the sights and smells of Scheide Park on Tuesday. Titusville City Council is considering ways to make parks more pet and owner friendly.

Titusville City Council spent the past few weeks tweaking an ordinance that prohibited alcohol in City parks.

The results of all that tweaking — a new ordinance that allows alcohol during a special event approved by Council at three parks — Scheide, Fleming and the Ed Myer Complex.

Titusville City Council unanimously approved Council Bill 4 at Tuesday’s council meeting. Prior to the vote, several City residents spoke both against and for the action.

James Smith told council members he is “old-school” and would “hate to see it.” He said he was concerned that if council permitted alcohol where would they then “draw the line?”

Leah Carter spoke in support of the newly-revised ordinance. She cited successful fundraisers in Erie that serve alcohol. “It can put money back in the community,” she said.

Each member of council weighed in with their thoughts on the subject. Jason Witosky said he accepted the seat on council to “help drive the City into the future.” “We must become a more friendly community,” he said. “We want to keep people here and attract them here.”

Jon Crouch said he appreciated hearing everyone’s concerns. He added that he believes festivals are good for the City and cautioned that the ordinance does not mean people can bring a cooler of beer to a park.

Bill McCrillis said he was upset when he first heard a request to serve alcohol at an event in a City park. After hearing from the requestor, he said his concerns were addressed and he felt assured that special events that serve alcohol will be directed by the City.

Mayor Dennis Peden said he also had concerns initially. “My biggest concern was children,” he said. “I felt better once I heard the presentation.”

The presentation was given at a council meeting two weeks ago by Adam Orr, owner of Orr’s Brewing Company on South Franklin Street.

Orr submitted a request to hold a Saturday concert in Scheide Park, which included serving beer. Council had to deny the request due to the existing prior ordinance, but the request led to Tuesday’s adoption of the revised version.

Orr explained to council that he must apply to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a special expo permit each time he holds a public event. Peden asked if Orr would be at risk of losing his business license if there were a problem at the event. Orr confirmed that could happen.

In later action during the meeting, Council unanimously approved a request from Orr to hold a concert, with beer and food sales, in Scheide Park on Aug. 29. Orr hopes to continue to hold events every other weekend.

“You’re the first one out of the shoot,” Peden told Orr. “We’re counting on you.”

In other action, or non-action, Council is seeking more input before they decide to make parks more pet-friendly. They tabled any action on allowing dogs in City parks until the next meeting.

City Council will meet on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

Drumm can be reached by email at ldrumm@titusvilleherald.com.

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