continues in its opposition to a liquor license application for Pavilion
Partners LLC to serve alcohol in Indiana Dunes State Park (IDSP) after the
Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) voted to send the matter back
to the Alcoholic Beverage Board of Porter County for another hearing.
In a press release
issued Wednesday Dunes Action reviewed the decision and reaffirmed
opposition to alcohol sales in the state park.
“ATC Chairman David
Cook said that in his opinion, while notice of the June meeting met the
letter of the law, more time should have been given to the public to voice
their concerns given the high level of protest. He also noted the June
meeting was held during business hours on a week day, when it was difficult
for the public to attend,” said Norman Hellmers, a Valparaiso resident who
attended the hearing Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Commissioner Marjorie Maginn was also critical of the discrepancies in
Pavilion Partners application, which leaves the ownership of the firm in
question. She also said letters to the ATC made her wonder if the applicant
was of a “high and fine” reputation in the community, which is required to
receive a license, Hellmers said.
“We need our
government officials to understand that since the Pavilion is literally on
the beach, alcohol is therefore also on the beach. When we say ‘no alcohol
on the beach,’ we mean no alcohol anywhere in the park Š period,” said Desi
Robertson, Co-founder of Dunes Action. “We will continue to protest this
license with the full force of the public’s wishes.”
Any future revenue
from the sale of alcohol in IDSP will not stay with the park, Robertson
said. “Only Pavilion Partners will be served by liquor being sold in the
Department of Natural Resources banned alcohol at IDSP in 1990 after the
state found it fueled disturbances and serious crimes.
At a recent public
hearing before the Indiana Dunes Tourism Board, one audience member said
recent data show that as alcohol infractions have increased in the park, so
have other crimes, Robertson said.
Dunes Action! is a
grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan coalition opposed to the plan to
allow a private firm to build and operate a conference/banquet center on the
lakefront at the Indiana Dunes State Park. The group is at