Board members have received criticism as a result of debates about the golf course selling alcohol, but the board wanted to clarify to the community they are not in control of the decision.
During its monthly meeting Tuesday evening, the board discussed its opinions.
"At one time, the park board was in control over of the park and the golf course," Parks Board President Ruthann Jeffries said. "But in 1981, the city created a Golf Board to handle all Golf Course affairs, and the Park Board was relieved of any decisions concerning the golf course."
Jeffries added the park budget is spent to maintain the three parks and no money is used to fund the golf course.
"When people take a look at the golf course and the park, they see it as one entity, but it's not. It's two," board member Caroline McCullough told those in attendance. "We're not being supportive of our own rules if we don't enforce the rule with no alcoholic beverages in the park."
Forest Park Golf Course Professional Mark Rogers told The Brazil Times the facility is licensed to sell alcohol on the course now, but is waiting to do so per a city council decision to include selling it in the clubhouse.
"We adhere to all state laws with caution, considering we are dealing with the public so we'll have a more controlled environment," Rogers said. "We do have insurance and we've checked with the excise police concerning the proximity of the school."
In addition, Rogers said they hope selling alcohol will increase revenue because they are not supported by tax dollars.
"We realize that everyone is hurting for money and the golf course is trying to find ways to increase their revenue. We just want to make sure everyone is safe," Jeffries said.
In addition, other board members said they agreed with Jeffries.
"What I'm concerned about is drivers driving through the park, running stop signs and it's just one more chance for someone to hit a child," Parks Superintendent Bill Houck said. "Ninety-nine percent of the time they'll be gentlemen, but it's that one percent that can endanger lives, and there's no other entry to the golf course than to come through the park."
Board member Linda Messmer added, "As a park board member, we do try to enforce the rules to try and make the park as safe as possible. According to the ordinance, we don't allow alcohol in the park, and if the golf course is going to encourage this, it increases the risk of danger for those in the park because of its geographic location."
However, one board member does expect much of a change from current conditions.
"I've spent time patrolling in the park and my concern is the safety of the children," board member Todd Brackman said. "They're probably carrying alcohol on the golf course anyway, so I'm not sure how much of a problem it will present."
Jeffries and Messmer planned to attend Wednesday evening's city council meeting to voice their opinions to the council.