The Indiana Senate
passed SB 515 Tuesday by a vote of 40-5, a bill to allow alcohol to be
consumed within 100 feet of the Historic Dunes Pavilion and the pavilion
parking lot, bypassing the state park’s current alcohol ban.
The bill was
authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, who could not be reached for
comment this morning.
The bill has
sparked local interest in the wake of plans for a renovation of the pavilion
and construction of a 30,000 square foot conference center to be built and
leased by Pavilion Partners LLC.
Sen Karen Tallian,
D-Ogden Dunes, voted in favor of the bill and told the Chesterton Tribune
this morning that she was “confused” by opposition she was hearing. In 2012
she authored a bill allowing alcohol sales in dining facilities by private
vendors at state parks. For that bill, Tallian said she heard zero
resistance and the bill received a favorable vote.
“I don’t know
whether people are against (SB 515) because of the expansion of the pavilion
or because of alcohol,” said Tallian, who posted that question on her
Facebook page this morning.
The bill passed the
house last Wednesday with a vote of 95-2, including yay votes from Duneland
representatives Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, who was one of the co-sponsors,
Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, and Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City.
Other provisions of
the bill allow two-way or three-way alcohol permits under written
commitments at motorsports facilities, certain historic areas and municipal