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Meeting comments feature early opposition to outdoor drinking

Meeting comments feature early opposition to outdoor drinking

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ABINGDON, Va. — Main Street resident Edison Jennings voiced concerns over establishing an Outdoor Refreshment Area in Abingdon last Monday.

Jennings spoke at a meeting of the Abingdon Town Council, expressing opposition to allowing open drinking of alcohol on Main Street in what town leaders call an Outdoor Refreshment Area.

Jennings called the proposal “ill considered” and “unfair.”

As proposed, restaurants could be allowed to sell to-go cups of alcohol and ask consumers to finish their beverages at a designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.

This is part of a state plan that gives communities a local option of establishing drinking in public through to-go cups.

Abingdon Town Council plans to hold a public information session at Town Hall on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., so the public can register written comments on the matter, as well as meet Abingdon Town Manager Jimmy Morani, Police Chief John Holbrook and Assistant Town Manager Tonya Triplett.

Jennings said the proposal would lower property values on Main Street and force residents of that road to deal with “disorderly” behavior with Main Street being a “party zone” by “allowing open drinking.”

Approving this proposal, according to Jennings, would be a “burden” to Main Street residents and “decrease the marketability of residential property.”

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