MONTCLAIR, NJ - At Tuesday night’s council conference meeting, the Montclair mayor and council approved a pending ordinance which had been first introduced at the meeting on Aug. 8. This ordinance was issued in order to make changes to the Disorderly Conduct code which prevented alcohol consumption on public property. The new code would allow residents and organizations to apply for a permit if they wish to host an event in town which would serve alcohol.
“With certain events coming up such as Ocktoberfest, we can now give permission, under certain circumstances, to serve alcohol,” said Ira Karasick, Township Attorney.
However, some members of the council raised a few concerns regarding these changes prior to a vote was taken. Councilor William Hurlock asked if the Montclair Police have been contacted regarding this ordinance because, at any event where alcohol is served, there is a need for extra police presence. He also expressed his concern regarding liability insurance for the town in the event that someone is injured.
According to the township manager and township attorney, these factors will all be discussed with the Montclair risk manager as well as as the Montclair Police Department. Currently, individuals who apply for a permit to serve alcohol at an event will be required to have their own event insurance and will be responsible for any additional police presence needed during the event. With the alcohol being served by a private party and not the township directly, Montclair would not be liable for any injuries or property damage obtained during an event.
However, Councilor Hurlock was still concerned that the township could be liable and therefore could not vote in favor of this ordinance.
After voting in favor of this change, Councilwoman Robin Schlager expressed her support of this new ordinance because many residents have been requesting this for a long time.
“This has come up several times over the past few years and I am so pleased that we listened to people and will now be able to have events that make our town special,” she said.