Exeter Township denies request for alcohol

Exeter Board of Supervisors have voted against permitting renters to pay for alcohol privileges at both the Dunn Community Center and Trout Run Sports Complex pavilion.

As a way to generate extra revenue, Joe Seltzer, Parks and Recreation, proposed a variance that would allow renters of these two facilities to pay an additional fee to bring alcohol.

Seltzer stated both Muhlenberg and Spring Townships permit alcohol in certain facilities and suggested “$50 per variance” as the fee for Exeter; Muhlenberg Township charges $100, while Spring Township charges $30 in fees.

“The townships haven’t had any lawsuits,” Seltzer said. “Most [problems they have seen are that] people just... left it a mess.” Muhlenberg Township has a paid township employee present to ensure the space is properly used and left presentable.

Exeter resident Dennis Till spoke against allowing the variance as Till’s “property bumps up to the gun center and library.”

“We just came from Reading for 46 years and am very familiar with what happens with alcohol and the abusive of it,” Till said. “I am fully against having alcohol [allowed at parks].”

Till and his wife said they “are familiar with the bad part... we’ve had bullets on our front porch...that’s why we’re in Exeter.”

Permitting alcohol is not meant to attract customers to rent, as the South End Gun Club, 5330 Lorane Rd, is full every Saturday night.

Trout Run Pavilion is not rented out as often, and is open to rent from March through August. Residents stated that allowing alcohol privileges for an additional fee might “attract the wrong crowd.” Resident Todd Arnold stated that “it’s [around] $18,000 if you rent it out 365 days out of the year.”

“Why make people unhappy,” Supervisor Ken A. Smith said.

With a vote of 3-2, the motion to allow alcohol only at Trout Run did not pass. Chairperson Jeff Bukowski said the issue could be brought back to the table if Supervisor Dona Starr wanted to vote in favor of the motion, as Starr was not present at the meeting.

As an alternative option, a conversation about starting a festival at Trout Run proved to generate interest from the residents and may be something the township will pursue in the future.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.

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