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Club hopes for alcohol OK
Commission makes changes in rec center naming process.
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BELLEAIR – Sherrie Morton visits the Belleair Town Commission meetings on a regular basis in hopes of changing the deed of the Belleair Garden Club. She believes her wishes will become reality on Aug. 17.

Morton, the garden club’s president, has unanimous support from her colleagues to request a change in their deed so the facility would be able to serve alcoholic beverages, making it more appealing to those interested in renting it for celebrations.

“This would make it almost like a fund-raiser,” Morton said. “Last year we had over $40,000 in renovations. This year we are expecting another $10,000.”

Repairs and improvements make it difficult for the garden club, which is a nonprofit organization. It also has a yearly budget of $15,000. Morton says the deed’s change could not come soon enough.

“I believe we have lost several opportunities in the past,” Morton said. “Several other clubs in the area already have this benefit.”

The clubhouse, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, can serve many purposes, Morton said. Remodeling in the bathrooms, new flooring, extensive artwork, a stage and piano suit any party or other celebration, she said.

Morton’s involvement with the club dates back to the late 1990s. She has been president of the 70-member club since May.

Meantime, the Town Commission has made a few changes regarding the naming of the town’s new recreation center. Discussed briefly in two town meetings, the commission is lowering the prices for the naming rights and putting a slight restriction on the naming process.

According to town Manager Steve Cottrell, the restriction is directly related to political correctness.

“There is a concern of someone choosing to use obscenities while naming the rec center,” Cottrell said.

He said they want to avoid any problems, so making the final decision on naming will be left to the commission.

“It would be at the commissioners’ discretion,” Cottrell said.

The price for naming the building has been reduced from $400,000 to $200,000. All other naming rights have been reduced as well. So far, one anonymous person has donated to the cause. To make a donation, call Steve Cottrell, John Yevich or Donna Carlen at 588-3769.
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