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Sewickley supervisors OK alcohol at Crabapple

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

While visitors enjoy the spring breeze and sunshine at Crabapple Park once the weather breaks, this year they will also be able to enjoy a frosty beverage at the park's three pavilions.

In February, supervisors approved a policy change to allow renters to bring alcohol with proof of insurance.

“We found that it was stopping a lot of people from using the pavilions,” said Supervisor Alan Fossi.

There will be no extra fee for the additional service, but a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy will need to be provided to the township.

Those carry a liability clause that extends to gatherings hosted by the policy holder, Fossi said.

“When you sign the contract with us, if you're going to have alcohol, you're going to have to provide that insurance, he said.

At Westmoreland County and Allegheny County parks, alcohol is allowed but only in designated pavilions.

Visitors at the Westmoreland County Park closest to Crabapple Park, Rostraver's Cedar Creek Park, allows alcohol in its 19 pavilions and indoor activity center said Lauren Jones, communication coordinator for the Westmoreland County Department of Public Works.

As long as gatherings are responsible, county officials welcome the park visitors, Jones said.

“It all depends on what your family is like and what atmosphere you want to have,” she said.

At Allegheny County parks, including Round Hill Park in Elizabeth, alcohol is only permitted in pavilions the visitor has rented and only during the time specified, said Andy Baechle, Department of Parks director.

“You can't be wandering around the park with a drink,” he said.

Proof of insurance is required for other types of entertainment like disc jockeys or “moon bounce” structures. Alcohol does not require proof of insurance in Allegheny County, but a $50 fee is necessary to apply for the alcohol permit.

Police and park officials can then keep better tabs on which gatherings should be monitored to contain any revelry or punish unauthorized use of alcohol, Baechle said.

Jones said police also diligently patrol Westmoreland County parks.

“We do have park police that patrol our parks and make sure nothing gets out of hand,” she said.

At Round Hill, eight pavilions and groves as well as the visitor's center are available to rent.

Glass bottles are prohibited at both counties' parks.

Pavilion rental rates at Crabapple Park were also approved by supervisors for this summer, remaining the same as in 2012. Rates range from $25 for residents renting the small pavilion during the week to $150 for non-residents at the large pavilion on weekends and holidays. More information can be found online at www.sewickleytownship.org/recreation/crabapple-park.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

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