Request for beer at Murrysville bocce court remains unsettled

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Beer-making has been around for about 6,000 years. Bocce has been around for about 5,000 years. 

The two were the topic of discussion in Murrysville last week, when borough council pondered the question of permitting bocce players to have a beer at Murrysville Community Park. Council ended up postponing a decision.

Rob Hunter, director of the parks and recreation department, told council, “This past summer, we tried to get some of our citizens to use the bocce courts, to put groups together to play. I talked to several groups who were interested, but no one wanted to play unless they could have a beer.”

“Does it improve their aim?” council President Joan Kearns asked.

“The most reasonable time to issue a permit for alcohol is between the end of the spring soccer season on June 15 and the beginning of the fall season on September 1," Mr. Hunter said. "We do not want to do so when soccer is in season.“ 

In the past five years, he said, 32 permits for alcohol were issued in Townsend Park. He said police reported no related issues —– no cleanup problems, no disturbances and all security deposits were returned in full. Mr. Hunter reported a similar track record for the Community Center, which issued 14 alcohol permits since 2011. 

Councilman Josh Lorenz asked how allowing alcohol in the park would affect Community Days.“If we are going to have kids and families in the park, we need to be mindful of that.”

“We can revoke the privilege during Community Days,” Mr. Hunter replied.

“I’ve played bocce and I don’t need a beer," Mrs. Kearns said. "There’s a kids’ playground next to the pavilion. One beer is fine, but what if they get carried away? I’ve had to pick up empty beer containers at Townsend Park. This is a bad mix.” 

The motion was tabled until next month when Mayor Bob Brooks and councilmen Jeffery Kepler and Regis Synan, who were absent, could weigh in.

Tim Means, freelance writer:

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