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County to again consider beer, wine sales at park

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You soon might be able to visit Johnson County Park for a wine tasting or drink a beer while listening to a concert.

The county again will consider allowing the sale of beer and wine at events at the county park in southern Johnson County. Currently, people can bring alcoholic beverages into the park, but vendors aren’t allowed to sell beer or wine during events.

Allowing alcohol sales would attract promoters who could bring events to the 600-acre park, such as small wine tastings or larger concerts in the amphitheater, county park superintendent Megan Bowman said.

The commissioners have to approve allowing alcohol sales at events. The three-member board did not approve the idea two years ago.

Commissioners requested more information on the rules other cities and counties have implemented when allowing alcohol sales in parks and want to learn more about liability and security. Commissioner Tom Kite had concerns over the liability the county would have if someone left an event drunk and injured someone. He also would like to have a significant police presence at events to deter heavy drinking. The commissioners did not set a timeline for the idea to be discussed again.

Alcohol sales would start at a small event, such as a wine tasting. Feedback would be gathered before the county would start selling alcohol at larger events, such as concerts, Bowman said.

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