Hartsville leaders considering alcohol sales at new water park

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Hartsville residents have started sending petitions to the South Carolina Department of Revenue after learning alcohol could potentially be sold at the city's new water park that is set to open this summer.

According to a press release, Hartsville leaders have applied for a permit from the state's Department of Revenue to serve alcoholic beverages at Neptune Island Water Park.

Outside of applying for the permit, the city has taken no official action at this time, the release stated.

While some people are OK with alcoholic beverages being sold at the water park if sales are strictly regulated, other residents are against it.

"I just think it's a shame, taking something that's so good for our city and messing it up by putting alcohol in it," Hartsville resident Gayle Morrison said.

Morrison lives right across from where the new water park is being built. She said the potential sale of alcohol makes her worried about an area she has always enjoyed.

"The Bylerly Park has been a big plus for our city, but it's a family-oriented place," Morrison said. "When you add alcohol into a place like that, with a lot of water, there's going to be nothing but fights.

Along with the fear of violence, Stephanie Stanley, one of the people who sent a petition, said the potential sale of alcohol puts people's safety at risk.

"When you introduce a substance that impairs the ability of a caregiver or a driver, that is the wrong thing to be doing for our citizens," said Stanley.

City officials said they have not determined yet when they will make a decision on alcohol sales.

Still, residents said if the city brings alcohol to the park, they may have to find another way for their families to enjoy the summer.

"I would probably be very hesitant to, because for one thing, I don't want my children to grow up - my grandchildren to grow up - thinking that it's OK," Morrison said.

"It's been a beautiful experience to see the whole community's children enjoying playing here. It's been beautiful, but I fear for it if this goes forward," Stanley said.

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.