LPPJ Nixes Lincoln Hall Alcohol Ordinance

Lincoln Parish Police Jury meeting – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Faced with a meeting room filled to capacity with local citizens last night, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) refused unanimously to amend the parish property ban on alcohol and allow Lincoln Hall to host events where it may be served.

The vote was 10-0. Two jurors – Annette Straughter and Joe Henderson were absent. All the jurors present – Theresa Wyatt, Hazel Hunter, Bobby Bennett, Randy Roberson, David Hammons, Walter Pullen, Jody Backus, Skip Russell, Nancy Wilson, and Sharyon Mayfield – voted against the proposed amendment.

Lincoln Hall was constructed in 2002. It is a 4800 sq ft banquet facility located adjacent to the North Louisiana Exhibition Center off Hwy 33, about five miles northeast of Ruston. The present lease agreement is in force until 2032.

Present tenant Carl Burton had last March asked permission to sell the remainder of his lease to Jimmy Shuff, and change the terms to allow events with alcohol.

See here the ordinance amendment that was voted upon.

Among the citizens commenting at the public hearing were: Henry Watts, Larry Bullock, Nell Manesco, Tommy Fredericks, Keith Huffman, Maggie Brown, Jill Parkman, Don Roberts, Joe Brown, George Parkman, Paula Rose, Ron Adams, Sandy Brown, Sonny Barnett, and Francis Grafton.

All the remarks reflected a desire to keep the Exhibition Center and adjacent area “family friendly,” and noted the potential problems that alcohol could cause.

Some typical comments:

Sonny Barnett: “I think having alcohol in that close a proximity (to the Expo Center), sharing the same parking lots, is not a healthy thing.”

Joe Brown: “When it starts taking away from the Expo and the parish, that concerns me.”

Don Roberts: “This place has a reputation for wholesomeness – good clean fun.”

Jill Parkman: “I have three small children. We’ve lived in different locations, and we made the decision to come back to Ruston. We knew that we wanted to find a place that we could call home and look to the future. We were looking for a healthy environment.”

In other news, the jury’s Personnel/Benefits Committee voted to begin advertising for the position of Parish Treasurer. Laura Hartt, appointed to the position in October, 2015, has accepted a position with the City of Ruston, and will assume her duties later this year.

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4 Responses to “LPPJ Nixes Lincoln Hall Alcohol Ordinance”

  1. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    Somehow, we have been taught to equate alcohol consumption and unwholesome together. I do understand the hesitancy at releasing the operators of Lincoln Hall to sell unchecked but surely there are some stipulations that could be proposed which would allow the sale of alcohol and sane-ness.

    Does it pose the potential for abuse? Sure it does.
    Does it mean that there will be abuse? Not in the least.

    The same crowd that has fought alcohol in any form from any place simply does not have supporting data.

    We allowed beer sales in stores years ago and Ruston didn’t become Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras Day. (as was predicted/warned)

    We allowed beer sales in restaurants and didn’t become Speak Easy Chicago. (as was predicted/warned)

    We allowed liquor sales at restaurants and haven’t become Satan’s Strip Club. (as was predicted/warned)

    It is utter folly because it refuses to place responsibility where it belongs. Alcohol, like firearms, is not the problem. It is the consumer or user. Irresponsible people, not the inanimate object!

  2. D'arbonne Says:

    All of downtown Ruston shares parking and proximity with places that sell alcohol. We get along pretty good.
    Looks like this is a great example of a small group of people pushing an agenda through a legislative body despite majority acquiescence. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last, but certainly not the proudest day in Lincoln Parish PJ history.
    On another note: does anyone track absenteeism? Why the heck do so many of our Jurors miss so many meetings? I’d love to know what % some of these people are absent.

  3. BOHICASansGreece Says:

    Jurors are elected and are accountable to their constituents. You might ask them yourself.

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