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Alcohol may be allowed at Vets Hall to increase rental revenue



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March 16, 2011 - All across Michigan these days local governments are furiously looking for new sources of revenue and Oxford Township is no exception.

Officials are considering allowing the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the Oxford Veterans Memorial Civic Center (commonly know as the Vets Hall) as a way to boost rental revenue derived from the township-owned facility.

Since April 2001, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages has been prohibited at the Vets Hall, located downtown at 28 N. Washington St.

According to township Clerk Curtis Wright, prior to 2001, rental revenue derived from the Vets Hall was in the $3,000-per-year range.

After the alcohol-ban took effect, it decreased to approximately $1,300 per year.

"People used to have weddings there. You can't do that now," noted township Trustee Sue Bellairs.

Treasurer Joe Ferrari said if alcohol was once again allowed, he would prefer to see the facility's rental fees increased to "make it worthwhile" and cover any damage that may be done.

As it stands right now, township residents wishing to rent the facility for a private party or fund-raising activity, must pay a $125 rental fee, plus a $50 security deposit.

Non-residents wishing to use the facility for the same purposes as mentioned above must pay a $150 rental fee and a $75 security deposit.

Local government entities and boards, senior citizen organizations, service clubs, community groups and church groups are not charged for their use of the building.

After a brief discussion, the township board voted 5-2 to direct Trustee Buck Cryderman to review the policies and rules for renting the first story of the Vets Hall and make recommendations for upgrading them as far as allowing alcohol consumption on site and possibly changing the rental rates.

Cryderman was directed to bring his proposals back to the board for consideration at the Wednesday, April 13 township meeting.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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