A booze ban for Pioneer Park? | TheUnion.com

A booze ban for Pioneer Park?

Three weeks after a man was stabbed during a fight at Pioneer Park, the Nevada City City Council on Monday will discuss banning alcohol at the park.

The City Council on Monday could ask the city’s attorney to draft an ordinance to ban the use of alcohol near the swimming pool and the playground, City Councilman Steve Cottrell said Friday. Under the new rules, people could still drink on the lower sections of the park – either with a special permit or at special events.

“With all the drinking that’s going on (at the park), there are corresponding problems,” said Cottrell, who will make the recommendations along with City Councilman David McKay.

McKay and Cottrell were appointed to discuss longstanding problems at the park after the city received several complaints from residents who said people were illegally spending the night at park, drinking and fighting.

“There is definitely a problem (at the park),” said McKay, adding that he also wants the city to find solutions to help the homeless in Nevada City.

Cottrell and McKay said they would also ask to ban the use of glass containers at the park because people are leaving broken glass behind, endangering children who play at the park.

The City Council could also consider banning alcohol along the trail that links Nimrod Street near the park to downtown Nevada City.

In a Jan. 8 letter to the City Council, city resident Dale Smith wrote that he has seen people drink and use drugs along the trail and at the park. His daughter recently told him recently she no longer wants to use the park because of all the “creepy” people, Smith said.

Police Chief Lou Trovato has met McKay and Cottrell to discuss the situation. His officers responded to 38 calls last year at the park. That’s three calls per month, he said.

At 5 p..m. Friday, as dusk set in, Mike Shaw was at the park sharing a six-pack of beers with a friend.

Both said they do not want the city to ban alcohol at the park. The fault lies with the younger generation, said the 42-year-old Shaw as his friend nodded in agreement.

“Our taxes help pay for the park,” Shaw said.

WHAT: Nevada City City Council

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday

WHERE: City Hall, 317 Broad St.


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