Malt beverage license tabled after public concern, part-time officers hired
The on-off sale malt beverage license for a new restaurant was in contention at the public hearing during the February 15th city council meeting. Several church and community members expressed their concerns regarding the issuance of this license. The location of the business is their main concern, as it is near the church, two parsonages, the school and the city park. Those for or against were given two minutes to speak at the hearing.
Nathan Stern, the owner of the new restaurant said there are a lot of rumors running around and he wished people would come directly to him with any questions. He wants to help our community by adding a restaurant, which will cost quite a bit. He will have noon specials, etc. but would need the beer/wine license to keep it operating. He doesn’t want people to sit in there for hours at a time and drink. This will be a place where parents can bring their kids for a meal. He is also planning to put up an addition for a casino/lottery room.
Jarvis Palmer spoke for the restaurant’s license. There are times when the bar or M&D pizzas aren’t available or the cafe isn’t open and it would be nice to have another place. He gets phone calls regularly asking if the cafe is open.
Earl Maier spoke against the license. He contacted several lawyers about the restaurant serving alcohol. He said Stern hadn’t even applied for a restaurant or lottery license yet. He stated several factors regarding the issuance of the license. The location, near the church, school and park is not good. This will affect law enforcement, and we’re already short- handed here. Their church is looking for a pastor and they don’t want him to have to contend with a liquor establishment across the street. Their church members already have to pick up beer cans before services and this could make it worse. Plus the additional noise it would cause in a residential area.
Diana Bottjen said she doesn’t know Nathan well and she isn’t against the restaurant, it’s the additional things he’s wanting to have. With gambling, this would not be a place for kids. Being close to the 2R Bar & Grill people come into their business and ask where they can eat. She usually tells them Keffelers. She didn’t feel we need another eating place as those we do have are having a hard time making it. The casino is a concern to her. It’s just the wrong location. Diana said, “Council doesn’t represent the city, they represent the people. I hope you keep that in mind when you vote that the people don’t want this.”
Amy Bochman said we don’t need alcohol around kids. This is just bringing things here that we don’t want. There would be more people tearing up and down the streets. Human trafficking is a thing and this could bring people here we don’t want. The location just is good as it’s so close to the school. As for the 2R Bar, they are willing to open, they just can’t get the help.
Andy Elshere also spoke against the license. He said if we need another place to eat, this is just not the location for it.
After coming out of an executive session for possible litigation members tabled the decision until the March 1st meeting.
The Public Safety Committee via Nathan Stern submitted the names of three part-time officers all from Sturgis, at $30.00 hr. They would fill in here in their spare time as officers there. As the city has been unable to find anyone, this is a solution until they can find someone full-time. Trainor said the deal with Ziebach County hasn’t worked out as they too are having trouble finding more officers. Earl Maier asked if this was going to be 24/7 or 1 each day. Stern said it will be whatever works for them. He said they have a place for them to stay if they should need to. Mayor Haines said no one wants to do it the ways things are with law enforcement officers lately. Becky Ness said the speed limit signs says it is enforced, but it isn’t by their house. Mayor Haines said they are working on it. Council approved hiring the three part-time officers.
Other quick business approved: Resolution No. 02-15-22-01 Transfer of funds; plaque dedication for Carv Thompson to be hung in the Community Center, and a memorial bench from Jim Crockford’s family to be placed in the park; the VFW to serve at the Welter/Philips wedding reception at the Community Center on June 11th, and testing of modems through NISC. As they get support through the broadband loop they are required to test their system. This is at a cost of $3,000 for set up and $450 monthly.
Council tabled quotes for the library repairs as they are waiting for one from Faith Lumber and tabled the purchase of stools and chairs for the bar.