City sets rules for provisional liquor licenses

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city had the ability, but until Tuesday night it didn’t have a procedure for issuing provisional liquor licenses.

With a request for one, the City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the city clerk/treasurer to issue provisional retail liquor sales licenses.

City Clerk/Treasurer Patty Huberty explained that the new operators of the Clark gas station/convenience store on Eastern Avenue had come to her office seeking a provisional license to sell beer until the council approves licenses for next year at the end of July.

“They didn’t want to wait until the end of July,” Huberty told the council. “I said I know there is a provisional license available (under state law), but I never issued a provisional alcohol license other than for operators.”

Researching the issue, Huberty said she found that the city had no ordinance governing provisional licenses and who should issue them.

“We’ve already adopted the state ordinance, but it doesn’t specifically say that I (as clerk/treasurer) could issue a provisional license,” Huberty said.

The proposed ordinance gives the clerk/treasurer the authority to issue a license, for a fee of $15, to be good for not more than 60 days or until a full license is granted, whichever comes first.

“This makes it nice and clean,” Huberty commented.

She assured council members that, as with full retail liquor licenses, an inspection by the police chief and the fire chief would still be required before Huberty can issue a license.

Fire Chief Ronald Nicolaus reported that the Clark station still has a few issues to resolve following his inspection before Huberty can issue either a provisional or a full license.

The council approved a new oneyear agreement with the Plymouth School District Community Education and Recreation Department to operate the Youth Center during the school year.

City Administrator Brian Yerges said the district had asked to take over cleaning at the center, for which the city currently contracts.

The city’s cost for cleaning is $5,200 a year and, under the agreement, the city will pay Community Ed and Rec that amount, bringing the total the city will pay to the department to $16,500.

“Community Ed and Rec will be taking on additional duties,” Yerges said, noting that the city will also save about $400 a year for city staff to inspect the center for damages after rental uses. “Overall, it will be cost neutral.”

Director of Public Works Bill Immich said the center will continue to be available for rental to the general public when the Youth Center is not open for middle school students.

He also said the city will continue to be responsible for regular maintenance and repairs at the center.

“We pay the light bill and heating bill. Everything in the building is still owned by the city and if anything breaks in the building, they call us and we fix it,” Immich said.

“I think it’s been a good partnership. Supervision has increased at the center,” Yerges concluded.

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