Commissioners votes to allow alcohol consumption at Coliseum

BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS, Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

On Monday, March 12, the Bailey County Commission met and voted 3-2 to approve alcohol served at the County Coliseum, according to County Attorney Jackie Claiborne. Those in favor were Juan Chavez, Cody Black and County Judge Sherri Harrison; against were Gary Don Gartin and Mike Slayden.

Alcohol will not be sold in the Coliseum, but people may bring and consume their own alcoholic beverages at special events such as weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties, Claiborne said.

Those who wish to apply for an event where alcohol is served will pay a hefty fee. The price for rental of the Coliseum will be $1,200 for residents and $1,500 for non-residents. This compares to the $300 rental fee for residents and $500 for non-residents at events where no alcohol is served.

“This was a proposal brought to the county by myself and Coliseum manager Lorena De Leon,” Claiborne said.

Claiborne explained that during 2017, the Coliseum budget was $77,953.64. Revenue brought in by the Coliseum was $18,714.55, a loss of $59,239.09.

“In our proposal to the County Commission, we made an estimate of what we could bring in with the revenue guaranteed for next year by events already booked,” Claiborne said. “We rent out the Coliseum six times a month, which is a fairly conservative number, so the total revenue for one year is estimated at $101,040. Any revenue made the first year will all go back into the renovations of the Coliseum.

“This isn’t just revenue coming in for the Coliseum. People will be coming in, renting hotel rooms, eating at restaurants, shopping at stores, and bringing more money into the county and the city as well.”

Until two years ago, Bailey County was completely dry, Claiborne said. On May 9, 2015, it was voted to allow alcohol to be sold for off-premise consumption. On May 6, 2017, the city voted in favor of allowing alcohol to be served at restaurants. Since then, the county has voted in favor of off-premise consumption.

“This will be all up and running beginning May 1,” Claiborne said. “We did make an agreement that on May 1, 2019, we will make a presentation to the County Commission reviewing how the first year went and any problems that were found.”

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