The Bexley Recreation Board unanimously approved changes Dec. 4 to the rental policy for events at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.

The changes combine the Recreation and Parks Department's policies for events that include serving alcohol and those that don't, recreation director Michael Price said. The revised policy builds on a resolution that Bexley City Council approved in March to set guidelines for events where alcohol is served, once the planned expansion of Jeffrey Mansion is completed in 2010, he said.

"What we've done is we've taken the rental policy, we've tweaked it to be in line with the alcohol framework that council passed," Price said when the Recreation Board discussed the issue Nov. 13. "We've put it all into one document."

The resolution that council passed in March established the following guidelines for Jeffrey Mansion rental events where alcohol is served: Weekend events are to end by 11:30 p.m.; events held Monday through Thursday must end by 11 p.m., and such events can be held only 12 times per year in the first year and 24 times per year in the second year.

The changes the Recreation Board approved Dec. 4 include the following:

* Jeffrey Mansion rentals in the new space created by the expansion will only happen Friday through Sunday, while the rest of the week will be reserved for recreation programming.

* All rental events must end by 11:30 p.m., whether alcohol is served or not.

* Rentals will be allowed on the lower level of the new space on Fridays, but no rentals will be allowed on Fridays on the upper level. The purpose of not allowing upper-level rentals on Friday is to avoid conflicts with the Jeffrey Mansion Preschool, summer camp or other Recreation and Parks Department programming, Price said.

* Rentals that take place on Saturdays will be required to use one of the mansion's preferred caterers. There are five caterers that renters can choose from, and the list will eventually be expanded, Price said.

"Having preferred caterers takes a lot of the load off our staff," he said.

"The preferred caterers have access, they have keys to the building."

Price said the department will periodically review the rental policy.

"We really won't fully understand this until we've gone through a couple years of this," he said.

"You can come back next year or the year after ... and reevaluate," Recreation Board chair Lindsay Hodge said.

The policy also gives the department flexibility to tailor contracts for each rental, recreation supervisor Natalie Mullin said.

"We take it case-by-case ... based on what someone has requested," she said. "We can kind of work through it with them and if we feel like it's within the policy, and if we feel like we want to go outside of it, we have the opportunity to do that, if need be."

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