Council moves on liquor requests

One downtown drinking establishment will be allowed to stay open later while a hotel will move forward with plans to open a liquor store following Monday night’s council meeting.

Administration supported the Croft’s bid to change its liquor service hours to 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily.

Doug Morrison, owner, said the request comes as an attempt to offer clients the same hours two other downtown bars do, the Generator and Heartbreakers.

Though there have been small problems over the years, Morrison said the same is true of most bars. However the last police call he remembers happened after a patron had a heart attack.

“To survive in this industry I must stay open until 3 a.m.,” he said. “If I wasn’t following the rules and regulations I’d be closed down.”

Coun. Dave Wilbur asked if the establishment had a ride home policy and was assured it does.

Coun. Murry Krause asked what he’d done to mitigate the minor problems he spoke of earlier. Morrison said he had a camera in the alley resulting in less activity.

Council, with the exception of Coun. Albert Koehler, supported the request for longer hours.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the Coast Inn of the North looked for continued support from council to establish a liquor store in the hotel, one that not necessarily provides more expensive products than other similar establishments in the city, but perhaps a more exclusive selection and experience.

Coun. Cameron Stolz asked why a temporary use permit, issued for that purpose in 2010, was never followed up on.

The issue was several changes in leadership, he was told, but now the situation had stabilized.

“If we continue to approve liquor stores we will have one on every corner. I do not see a liquor store at that location. It’s potential trouble,” Koehler said. “Liquor stores are not considered commercial growth. I do not see the need nor the demand for it.”

A small food store downtown would be better, he said.

Coun. Brian Skakun pointed out it isn’t a new licence. Because of that, Coun. Murry Krause said he would support it as well.

Stolz said that although he has faith in the staff at the Inn and he appreciated the new manager and his family moving to the community, he remained disappointed the company had a three year opportunity to move the project forward and did nothing, so this time he would not support it.

The application from the Inn passed council’s scrutiny, with Stolz and Koehler opposed.


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