By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The City of Lufkin is in the process of applying for a license to sell alcohol at the Pitser-Garrison Civic Center.
According to Director Lance Moore, the license would allow the Pitser Garrison Civic Center to be the lone vendor for alcohol.
As it works right now, events held at the civic center are either BYOB or an outside vendor supplies the alcohol. The license must first be approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Moore stressed the city is not trying to condone alcohol, but control the sales and consumption of it.
On the verge of selling alcohol, but some say a liquor license doesn't belong.
"We know that there's been alcohol at the civic center through the process that's been in place, but when the city has got involved, we just feel like that was a line that maybe we didn't need to cross in our community," said Kevin Roy, an associated pastor at Denman Avenue Baptist Church.
"If we're in control of it, we know when it comes in, when it's supposed to leave, how long the service is going to be, whether it's glass or not, whether minors are drinking," Civic Center Director Lance Moore said.
Moore says they don't even plan on having a full bar and a TABC bartender will actually be serving the alcohol, but Roy says it's a step in the wrong direction.
"It's going to take away a little bit more of the red tape that's involved in having alcohol there and probably more, it's just the city saying we want to help you," Roy said.
Hundreds have signed Denman Avenue Baptist Church's informal petition.
"We're going to support our city every way we can, but we do believe that alcohol has some obvious detriments to society," Roy said.
Moore insists it's not a money-making issue, but one of creating a safer environment.
"If you're going to have the liability, you should be able to control the liability," Moore said.
Roy says it's not so much the alcohol itself, but what it leads to that's concerning.
"There's no denying the effects that alcohol can have and not everybody abuses alcohol, not everyone is an alcoholic, but I don't know an alcoholic that didn't start with the first drink," he said.
City Attorney Bruce Green said they plan to have all the paperwork in to TABC by the end of the week and it could be weeks before a decision is made.