It’s a starting point towards crafting possible changes to the alcohol ordinance.
The Ripon City Council decided Tuesday to put a committee together to work on the details.
Council members Mark Winchell and Dean Uecker agreed to serve on the group. They will soon be joined by a City of Ripon staff member along with two community members, possibly someone from the one of the Main Street restaurants.
The Ripon Municipal Code currently prohibits any person “to consume or have in their possession alcohol” on any public streets, sidewalks, parking lot, or city parks.
But the ordinance may need some modifying.
“It’s difficult for people to come to an event unless (alcoholic beverages) are being served,” said Mayor Jake Parks.
His colleague Leo Zuber, who noted that he had no vested interest in the matter, picked a few situations as a “place to start.”
He listed the community amphitheater at the Mistlin Sports Park and downtown restaurants on Main Street.
Yet it’ll be up to members of the group to look further into the matter prior while coming up with a proposal prior to reporting back to council. “(Police) will not be part of the committee but we will be there to interact,” Chief Ed Ormonde said.
Added Uecker: “People are already drinking at certain functions – there’s no reason why we can’t have an ordinance to help control it.”
The proposal could include possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages being limited to the confines of the amphitheater at Mistlin.
Changes to the ordinance could also pave the way for downtown restaurants to have designated outdoor seating areas where patrons can enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their meals during the summer months.