Council eyes alcohol ban |

Council eyes alcohol ban

The Truckee Town Council will consider amending the town’s alcohol ordinances tonight, as they examine a proposal to place a public drinking prohibition on all public property – not just the downtown area.

‘The concept of needing the ordinance came out of the near-riot situation which was created during last year’s Fourth of July celebration, where significant public drinking appeared to be a partial cause of the problems,” Town Manager Steve Wright stated in his report to council. “At the request of the recreation and park district, the town attorney has provided a proviso in this ordinance that allows for exceptions at the request of a given agency for public property owned by that agency.”

He said the ordinance is in urgency form, effective immediately upon adoption, in order to have it in place by the Fourth of July weekend.

The central text of the ordinance reads:

“No person shall have in his possession any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed, or consume any intoxicating liquor while upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, or public parking lot or area within the town, or upon any public or private parking lot or area open to the public, or in a place where where the public is likely to congregate, and where alcohol is not legally offered for sale; or have in his possession any bottle, can or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage which has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed, or consume any intoxicating liquor while being in an automobile, or any other motor driven vehicle, upon any public street, alley, parkway, or other public parking lot or area, or private parking lot or area open to the public either with or without compensation by the town. Any government agency requesting an exemption for governmentally owned property shall be exempt from this section.”

One police officer was injured in a fight outside the West End Beach following the 1998 Fourth of July fireworks display and celebration. The officer was lifted out by helicopter after rowdy crowds blocked the path of emergency vehicles. The fireworks display was canceled this year at Donner Lake, due to concerns about emergency vehicle access.

Insurance plans

Council will also consider termination of the town’s current insurance contract with Blue Shield and adoption of a new contract with Humana.

Administrative Services Director Jill Olsen said town staff recommends the move because of the uncertainties surrounding Blue Shield providers in the Truckee area.

“The community is aware of the contract issues between local doctors and Blue Shield,’ Olsen wrote in her report to council. “Many local doctors have either canceled their contracts with Blue Shield or have a termination date in the very near future. Since the town’s health insurance coverage is provided by Blue Shield, the termination of contracts by local doctors will have a significant impact on the town’s employees.”

Olsen said the town established a committee to study the issue, and no one requested that Blue Shield be retained as the provider. The contract with Humana was found to be a good alternative.

In other business, council will:

– Consider authorization of the public works director to issue a purchase order for a new street sweeper when the budget is approved.

– Consider approval of a final map for Truckee-Donner Townhomes in Tahoe Donner.

– Consider first reading of an ordinance adopting revised traffic impact fees.

– Hold a public hearing and consider approval of a resolution adopting the assessment rate for town special service areas and permanent road divisions.

– Consider recommendations of the snow removal committee.

– Consider adoption of the Fiscal Year 1999-2000 operating budget.

– Consider authorization of submission of a grant application for the Truckee Economic Development Strategic Plan.

– Submission of a grant for funding Trout Creek restoration through the State Water Resources Control Board.

– Authorization to advertise the Palisades Drive/Highway 267 traffic signal project for bids.

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