STATEHOUSE — State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) held a press conference today on Lake Freeman in Monticello to discuss how his legislation, House Enrolled Act 1518, impacts The Madam Carroll’s operation.
The Madam Carroll is the largest Coast Guard approved vessel in the state of Indiana, holding up to 500 guests. The ship, launched in August 1976, provides live entertainment, dinner cruises and private charters.
“I’ve owned property on Lake Freeman for more than 25 years, and The Madam Carroll is the queen of the lake and a true treasure to the community,” Alting said. “While investigating Indiana’s alcohol laws, I found jumbo boats, like The Madam Carroll, were limited on what they could do operationally.”
Before HEA 1518, state law permitted jumbo boats to serve alcohol while cruising and one hour before they left the dock and up to one hour after they had returned. However, if the boat did not cruise, the ship could not serve alcohol.
“Only allowing The Madam Carroll to serve alcohol when the ship is scheduled to sail prevents them from hosting events on the boat during the winter, when ice on the lake keeps it from leaving the dock,” Alting said. “HEA 1518 gets government out of the way and gives it the opportunity to operate throughout the year.”
“The benefits of this legislation go far behind the operation of the vessel,” said Chris Peters, co-owner of The Madam Carroll. “We are ecstatic to be able to bring a significant economic impact year-round to Lake Freeman, the Monticello community, our surrounding counties and the state as a whole. This a win for everyone.”
On July 1, HEA 1518 will go into effect, authorizing jumbo boats to regulate the sale of alcohol without having to cruise.