Businesses react to proposed ban of alcohol in a downtown Macon park

Bibb Co. could ban alcohol at Rosa Parks Square

One Bibb County commissioner says downtown Macon's Rosa Parks Square should be alcohol free -- the same park where Just Tap'd holds its annual beer festival.

Roger Ruiz manages Doughboy Pizza downtown and says the festival and other events, like Bragg Jam, help bring large crowds to the restaurant.   

“It's great for businesses. It’s great for everything that deals with downtown whenever big businesses come,” said Ruiz.

However, Bibb County is voting on an ordinance Tuesday that could stop drinking events, like the beer festival, from taking place in Rosa Parks Square.

Ruiz says even though these events help business at the restaurant, he understands the proposed ban.

“We need to remember that Rosa Parks is a civil rights icon, and there is some due respect needed for that park,” said Ruiz.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas says a group, including former Macon mayor C. Jack Ellis, asked her to help make this change, so she is sponsoring the ordinance.

“Because of who the park is named for and because of the high-esteem that people hold for Rosa Parks,” said Lucas.

The owner of Just Tap'd, Jeff Kressin, says if they cannot sell alcohol, then they may not be able to hold events like the beer festival. He says that could be a loss for the community.

“It just brings people together to get to know one another and feel connected, and that’s what this is all about,” said Kressin.

Kressin says they pay to hold events at the park, which is money that goes back to the county.

Bibb County says people pay $100 for three hours, and $35 for each additional hour.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says there have been no reports of drinking related arrests or complaints at Rosa Parks Square in the last year.

© 2018 WMAZ-TV


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