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Tailgating at Idaho Vandals games may get a little more legal

UPDATED: Tue., July 25, 2017, 7:49 a.m.

A Montana State fan pours a beer for a friend before the start of a college football game against Idaho on Thursday, Sep 1, 2016, outside the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
A Montana State fan pours a beer for a friend before the start of a college football game against Idaho on Thursday, Sep 1, 2016, outside the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A portion of Moscow’s city code may be amended to allow tailgaters at University of Idaho football games to consume alcoholic beverages in areas outside the Kibbie Dome.

Under changes being considered by the city, alcohol would be allowed as long as it is in an opaque plastic or paper container that is not labeled or branded by an alcohol distributor or manufacturer.

City Attorney Rod Hall told the Moscow Administrative Committee on Monday that open containers of alcoholic beverages in any public place or places open to the public are prohibited unless authorized or permitted, per city code.

He said the city is aware that some tailgaters may consume alcoholic beverages prior to University of Idaho home football games. A decision by the Idaho State Board of Education last year essentially banned alcohol outside of the Kibbie Dome.

“There is concern that if there is an absolute prohibition and along with strong enforcement of the open container prohibition, some may still consume alcoholic beverages at a location farther away and then take the risk of the consequences of driving under the influence on the ride back to the area of the game, thereby endangering the lives and safety of the public,” Hall said.

The amendment to the city code would exempt the city’s open container prohibition from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. generally in the area around the Kibbie Dome on days when the UI hosts football games.

Committeeman Jim Boland said the proposed amendment would allow the usual tailgating activities that have occurred for years to continue. Committeeman John Weber said he thinks the amendment would take some pressure off Moscow Police officers and he likes the opaque cup condition to the amendment.

The item will be placed on the regular agenda at the Aug. 7 City Council meeting.

Prior to the Administrative Committee meeting, the Moscow Public Works/Finance Committee met at City Hall and recommended approving:

The expansion of the downtown overnight restricted parking area to include both sides of Jackson Street between D and C streets and on the south side of D between Jackson and Main streets.

Salary increases for the mayor and City Council members. If approved, the salaries of the council members would be $691.93 per month, an increase from $675.57. The mayor’s salary would increase from $1,948.78 to $1,995.25. The new salaries would be effective Jan. 1.

A Latah County Commissioners’ request to assist in the restoration of the McConnell Mansion in the amount of $10,500. The county is requesting $19,750 in assistance from the city but there is only $10,500 available in the city’s Non-Prioritized Projects budget this fiscal year. City Supervisor Gary Riedner said the goal of the City Council is to fund the full request by next year.

A low bid from Strom Electric in the amount of $357,000 to replace an existing telemetry system for the city’s water system and wastewater lift stations with a new supervisory control and data acquisition and telemetry system to monitor and control the city’s water and wastewater conveyance system.