Alcoholic beverages could be consumed at the Bell Community Center under an ordinance approved Monday by a split City Council. The center is in Treder Park, next to City Hall. Alcoholic beverages have been prohibited at the city's three parks.
Supporting council members said they believe the amendment will help promote the building, opened last January, as a banquet and conference center. In discussions among city staff and caterers, it became clear, according to an internal memo, that "it is absolutely imperative that alcohol be allowed to insure the success of the caterers."
The community center, with a budget this year of $112,000, operates at a deficit, according to William Vasquez, director of community development. Estimates of the projected revenue from catering at the Community Center ranged from $30,000 to $100,000 annually.
Councilmen Ray Johnson and Rolf Janssen opposed the change, saying they were concerned that the center would become primarily a revenue-producing facility rather than serve the community. Councilmen Bob Cole, George Mirabal and Jay Price voted for it, saying that the center is under-used now.