Beginning Jan. 1, individuals who rent Jeffrey Mansion for special events such as wedding receptions and private parties will be able to serve alcoholic beverages.
Recreation and Parks Director Mike Price recently told Bexley City Council members that the recreation board unanimously approved a new alcohol-use policy for Jeffrey Mansion during its Nov. 14 meeting.
Price said the first reservation for 2013 already has been booked for Jan. 5.
"The reservation process has changed slightly," Price said. "All reservations now must be made in person."
Under the new policy, the city will charge an alcohol-permit surcharge of $300. The fee is $500 for Friday, Saturday (daytime) and Sunday events. There is an additional $100 charge for Saturday-night events.
The rental fee for the facility is $100 per hour with a refundable $250 security deposit. Events at which alcohol is served also include the cost of an off-duty police officer for security.
Price said the primary requirements in renting the facility for an event where alcohol will be served include:
* A Bexley resident must book the reservation.
* The event must use one of the preferred caterers.
* Caterers will serve the alcohol and carry the required insurance and licensing. The insurance equates to about $2 million in coverage.
* A special-duty police officer must be present during the event.
"I feel like this policy is a good compromise for introducing alcohol into the Jeffrey Mansion," Price said. "There are a number of controls in place that will help protect the building, the visitors at the Jeffrey Park and the community as a whole. This will also position the city to better maximize the potential of the Jeffrey Mansion as a rental facility.
"This is a policy that we will be constantly re-evaluating to ensure that the best interests of the city are being protected and that the goals of the policy are being met," Price said.
Price said the city looks forward to the policy opening up "additional opportunities for Bexley residents to celebrate the many special events that life provides here at the Jeffrey Mansion."