Perrysburg Schools to allow DORA at Commodore site


PERRYSBURG – An amendment to limit DORA use on school district property failed as the board of education made an exception to its no-alcohol-on-school-grounds policy.

At Monday’s meeting, board of education member Sue Larimer made a motion to limit the city’s use of the Commodore Building’s school yard as part of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area to only during district-approved, city-sanctioned outside events such as a car show or farmers market.

Otherwise DORA should not be allowed on school property, the motion concluded.

“To me, this allows us to help the city … and allows them to use our property when there is something going on like Music in the Park and the farmers market,” Larimer said. “Those are all approved family activities on our property.”

“I don’t see this being a problem, but the district needs the option to opt in and opt out,” said board member Kelly Ewbank.

Larimer also pointed out there are students on the property during the DORA hours, which are from noon to 11 p.m.

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate,” she said.

Ewbank said she is downtown often during the day and has never seen anyone walking with a DORA cup.

Superintendent Tom Hosler said at a board work session earlier this month that this property is very much a part of the downtown, but also pointed out that drinks will not be allowed in the Commodore building.

On the advice of the Perrysburg Police Division earlier this year, city council expanded the geographic area of the downtown DORA to be less of a patchwork of boundaries allowing the purchase and drinking of alcoholic beverages to be more of an easily understood rectangular area.

It is basically now Fifth Street to Elm Street and Front Street to Walnut Street. That area includes the Commodore school yard, which is known for regular events like the car show, farmers market and the Harrison Rally Day.

Larimer said school property should be considered “hallowed ground” and that “people feel very strongly that this is wrong.”

“I want to find a solution to the problem that gives a little bit to both (sides),” she said.

Board President Eric Benington asked who would approve usage of the property for events.

Larimer said events have to be approved by district administrators.

Ewbank also wanted to know how the public would be notified of the restrictions.

That is not the board’s responsibility, Larimer said.

“I like to keep things simple … and I thinks this is very convoluted,” Ewbank said. “I think it’s more confusing for the city, more confusing for people … when you add these additional things.”

Board member Ray Pohlman asked who would police this rule.

“I hear where you’re coming from,” he said to Larimer, “but I understand the idea of helping out the businesses a little bit.”

“I was trying to make something here that would work for both sides of this argument,” Larimer said, “which is what I think our job is.”

Her motion, which she called a compromise, died for lack of a second.

The resolution to revise board policy to allow the consumption of alcohol in DORA cups in the school yard by persons who are at least 21 years old during the DORA hours of operation passed, 4-1, with Larimer voting against.

Resident Laura Meinke suggested after the vote the district should give the school yard land to the city. She also asked if legal counsel had been consulted.

Hosler said earlier this month that his research found that the Ohio Revised Code does not restrict alcoholic beverages from public school grounds.

Meinke asked how this resolution was in line with the district’s mission statement, which is ensuring all students achieve their greatest potential.

After the meeting, Larimer said she didn’t expect her motion to pass.

“I had hoped that the way I had written it would help calm both sides of the argument, and that to me is what my job here is,” she said.

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