The city of Bexley is considering legislation that would modify the city's code to allow, on a limited basis, alcohol to be served at outdoor public events at Jeffrey Park, 165 N. Parkview Ave.

The city of Bexley is considering legislation that would modify the city's code to allow, on a limited basis, alcohol to be served at outdoor public events at Jeffrey Park, 165 N. Parkview Ave.

Recreation Director Michael Price, speaking at the recreation board's April 6 meeting, said the policy change was prompted by a request from the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra to use the grounds at Jeffrey Park for its annual free outdoor concert in August. The park is located behind Jeffrey Mansion.

Price said ProMusica would like patrons to be able to buy alcoholic drinks at the concert, which would require the city to change chapter 1062.07 of the city's codified ordinances, which bans alcohol at Jeffrey Park. Price suggested the policy change should be worded to allow the city to limit alcohol use only to events approved by the recreation board, and that patrons who choose to buy alcohol must do so from one of the recreation department's pre-approved vendors.

"We could set up the permit for the event to be very specific," he said.

Jeffrey Park is one of several sites that ProMusica is considering in relocating its annual outdoor concert from Franklin Park in Columbus, Price said. Since ProMusica is a nonprofit, the organization wouldn't pay to rent Jeffrey Park but would cover all the costs of staging the concert.

While the concert wouldn't generate revenue for the city, it could provide an entertainment option for residents and raise awareness about Bexley's amenities among patrons from other areas, Price said.

"I think it's fair to look at this more in terms of providing a programming opportunity to our community without a lot of costs associated with it," he said. "It's an opportunity to show off our park and our facilities to a greater Columbus audience."

If ProMusica decides to proceed with holding the concert in Jeffrey Park, the city could use the event as a test in evaluating whether to continue allowing alcohol to be served at public events in the park, said Ann Brennan, a recreation board member.

"We might want to say, 'Let's use this first year as a kind of probationary period to see if it all worked in terms of the impact of grounds and any unintended consequence we may not foresee,' " she said. "Anything new like this, you have to go into the first year and see what happens."

The recreation board voted unanimously to authorize Price and Bexley City Council member Troy Markham, council's liaison to the board, to introduce the proposed change to Jeffrey Park's alcohol policy as a first reading at council's Tuesday, April 12, meeting. The legislation is scheduled to have two subsequent readings at council's April 26 and May 10 meetings.