Neighbors, Bars Squabble Over St. Patrick's Price

Neighborhood activist says bar owners should pitch in more money

The yearly St. Patrick's Day celebration on Greenville Avenue is more than a week away, but some neighbors are already grumbling about the cost of the party and its cleanup.

The March 14 celebration in Dallas will begin with a parade along upper Greenville in the morning. A block party will then close the street around Vanderbilt from noon to 6 p.m.

Avi Adelman, of the Belmont Neighborhood Association, estimates the city will spend as much as $40,000 without reimbursement by the organizers.

"The city is putting too much money out of its own budget this year, as bad as it is, to pay for what is a private party," he said. "This is a for-profit venture that makes money for those businesses."

But City Councilwoman Angela Hunt said the parade and party organizers are both paying "significantly more" this year -- more than ever before.

"They’re putting in substantially more than they have in years past, and that’s critical," Hunt said.

The block party will be in held front of Stan's Blue Note Taphouse and Grill. Party organizer Steve Betzelberger, of Stan's, said 100 trash bins will be positioned outside the block party's boundaries, and signs will remind partygoers to use them instead of littering.

Cleanup crews funded by organizers will cover an area from Skillman to Central Expressway. Organizers have also hired dozens of extra off-duty police officers.

"We want everybody to be happy with our event," Betzelberger said.

Hunt said the busineses can't pay for some city expenses, such as fire and health inspectors.

"The city has got to make sure that these things are done, and if that means that the city has got to pay for it, in this case, yes," she said.

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