Baring Lake 4th of July Celebration Closed to Public
By Echo Menges
The Baring Country Club is having their Annual 4th of July Celebration this year, but Baring Country Club members have voted to close the lake to the public, not just for this year's 4th of July Celebration, held on the third, but from now on.
"We're still going to have a Fourth of July Celebration on the third for members and their guests only. It's not open to the public. That's something that was voted on by the membership at the Annual Meeting, that the Board of Directors could not have any (more) completely open to the public events. We can still do special events if people call and have a group, we can approve those on an as needed basis, but we can not approve any open to the public events." Said Sean Bonnell, President of the Baring Country Club Board of Directors.
According to Bonnell a special meeting was held to address the member requested by-law change to eliminate public events at the lake. Any member may submit a request to amend the club's by-laws as long as it's submitted within 45 days of the club's annual meeting held in April.
"There was a special meeting based on some of the trouble we had last year with the large crowds and trying to keep them under control." Said Bonnell. "What we decided (was) based primarily on liability issues and some fighting that happened (last year). In the last several years the numbers that have been showing up to the event have been increasing making parking unavailable for the members and also lead to increased costs to clean up the mess. (Those) are some of the member issues." Adding, "The attendance has just increased to a point that can’t be supported by the lake nor do we have the resources to police that many people at one time. When you get 2,500 to 3,000 people out there it gets a little too crowded. This will hopefully make it a little more enjoyable for our members and their guests."
"One thing we did do was another by-law change in conjunction (with the first). We increased the number of guests allowed per member to 20." Said Bonnell. Saying members can have 20 guests per membership.
Anyone who is a member of the Baring Country Club will be receiving a letter along with wristbands for guests they invite to attend the celebration. Anyone, who is a member, and has not received his or her wristbands should contact a Baring Country Club Board member.
Bonnell also said they decided to put an ad in this week's newspaper to inform people the lake will be closed to the public, post signs at the entrance to the lake, and hire security who will be turning the public away at the entrance and patrolling the property looking for people not invited to the event. Anyone who isn't a member or a guest of a member will be asked to leave. Baring Lake is private property.
"It was a member decision. It wasn't a board decision." Said Bonnell. "Once it's approved by our members it's a by-law and that's what we have to go by."