Council completes liquor license approvals for 2016-17

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The City Council wrapped up the last of the 2016-17 liquor licenses and the future of the vacant 31 E. Mill St. building Tuesday.

The council approved a developer’s agreement with Kevin Fetterer for the longvacant 31 E. Mill St. building that ties into his liquor license for the Plymouth Tap bar he is working to open next door.

Under the agreement, Fetterer will purchase the 31 E. Mill St. building – which has been vacant for a number of years – for $1 from the Redevelopment Authority.

The RDA took possession of the building several years ago in tax foreclosure and has been unsuccessful in that time in finding a developer to rehabilitate the building.

Instead, Fetterer will tear down the building and utilize the space as an outdoor beer garden for his Plymouth Tap business at 117 E. Mill St.

The city, as a developer’s incentive, will reimburse Fetterer up to $20,000 toward the demolition cost for the building, which must be torn down by the end of August.

In addition, Fetterer is required to have the beer garden complete and Plymouth Tap open for business by Dec. 31 or else forfeit the property back to the city.

The council approved Fetterer’s tavern license along with licenses for the Plymouth Arts Foundation and the Eagles Club. All three license renewals were tabled by the council at their last meeting until questions about each could be answered.

Representatives of the PAC and the Eagles Club provided evidence that they met the requirement in the city ordinance that they were open at least 150 days in the last year, at least four hours a day.

“It seems as though they’re following the numbers,” Alderman Jim Sedlacek said of both applicants.

Alderman Shawn Marcom reiterated his opposition to granting class B beer and liquor licenses to non-profit groups.

“I have a problem because of the benefit they have in not paying taxes,” over other license holders, Marcom explained. “For that reason, I’m going to be consistent as I have been throughout this discussion,” and vote no.

PAC Executive Director Donna Hahn responded that the council should, “Think about us as the equivalent of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center or the Weill Center on a smaller scale. We are a vibrant community arts center and a liquor license is very important to our operations.”

Marcom cast the sole no vote on the Eagles Club license and was joined by Alderman Greg Hildebrand in voting against the license for the PAC.

Huson Tower contract approved

The council took action on another tabled item, approving a contract MZ Construction of Linden to rebuild the Huson Water Tower, destroyed a year ago in an arson fire.

The base contract to rebuild the tower is $164,000 and a change order was added for $16,686 to rebuild the foundation after tests showed the original foundation left after the fire would not be safe.

“We have approval from the insurance company to award the contract and change order,” City Administrator Brian Yerges told the council.

The work will not include the restoration of the original cupola and windmill on the tower, which had been removed decades before the arson fire destroyed the historic structure.

Generations gets Senior Fund grant

The council approved a $9,738.75 grant from the Senior Grant Fund to the Generations inter-generational center.

Generations plans to pave the Vita Course outdoor exercise course that it recently built on its grounds, Alderman David Williams told the council.

The course currently has a gravel path, but that has proven inaccessible for many elderly and disabled patrons of the center who wish to use the course, according to Williams.

With the paving, Generations would also be eligible for a federal grant that would allow features to be added to the course to make it usable by more people of all ages, he added.

The grant request was recommended by the Committee on Aging, which Williams chairs.

City Clerk/Treasurer Patty Huberty noted that the Senior Grant Fund – which includes donated and raised funds from when the city operated the senior center – still would have over $70,000 after the grant.

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