Gautier Debates "Wet" Or "Dry" Parks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/31/04

Gautier Debates "Wet" Or "Dry" Parks

Parks provide a great place for people to lounge in the sun sipping a cool drink, but in one coast city the rules on what kind of beverage you can bring aren't clear. At City Park, WLOX spotted several posted signs that read "alcoholic beverages prohibited on city property".

However, Gautier city officials say the current ordinance only bans alcohol from Bacot Park and not in City, Frazier, or Buddy Davis parks.

Beer, wine and liquor have no place in Gautier's Bacot Park, and some neighbors believe all city parks should follow suit.

"I don't think they should drink," said Winston Booker. "Because a lot of kids hang around here and play ball. I just don't think they should be drinking."

In Frazier Park, city leaders say alcohol is legal. The city took over Frazier long after the current ordinance banning drinking in parks was adopted so right now it and several other parks are exempt.

Norman Barial lives across the street from Frazier Park.

"This is one that allows drinking, and I feel as though the drinking doesn't really affect the community. There are several people that come out here and there's not really any problems out here. No animosity or anything. Everybody gets along."

Clifton Allday often uses the boat launch in City Park. He doesn't want people drinking around children but believes an exception should be made for boaters headed for other places.

"They don't have it out showing or anything like that. They keep it in their boats and in their ice chests and out the park. As far as where the pavilions are, no, they shouldn't."

Gautier city council members tabled a proposal to change the city ordinance earlier this month. Ward four council member Don Hansford says he's hoping for a compromise. He also said he'd been unaware of the contradiction between the ordinance and the signs posted in City Park.

by Danielle Thomas

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