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City Manager lays out entertainment district

If the ordinance passes open containers will be allowed outdoors on the streets.
Intersection at Foster and Main.
Intersection at Foster and Main.

Tomorrow City Commissioners will vote on the highly debated entertainment district.

This would allow certain events to be eligible for a drinking permit that would allow for open containers inside the district.

The district will be the 100 and 200 block of North Foster as well as the 100 block of South Foster. It will also include the same blocks of north and south St. Andrews and it will go around the Civic Center and Museum of Arts.

The planning department and Downtown Group selected this perimeter, specifically because it is the primary downtown commercial area for Dothan.

City manager, Michael West, said the licensees will need to complete certain requirements before being issued the permit.

"Yes there is criteria that would be able to ensure that the people are responsible to be able to handle and control a special event."

The potential permit holders will be approved by the City Police Department.

A design plan of where the drinking would be permitted is included in the criteria. Along with at least a two million dollar liability insurance, including insurance for alcohol. The event will also need to hire security based on the number of people who plan on attending.

"Obviously it would have to be an event that they feel is acceptable for that,” said West. “They would also make sure the people are responsible parties and they would also be looking that they have submitted documentations."

The director of Downtown Group said the ordinance would only do good things for the city.

"I think it’s only beneficial because the more people that come out,” said Jill Williams. “The more people we attract throughout the region the more people are going to see our downtown and investment opportunities and shop at the local boutiques and eat at the local restaurants and bring in more foot traffic to foster street."

If the ordinance is passed Foster Fest will be one of the first to apply for the permit. The festival begins May 16th and is held monthly through October.

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