Council reviews open container request

SIDNEY — Most members of Sidney City Council appear to favor a proposal to allow open containers of alcohol outside two downtown restaurants on the courtsquare during a nine-hour event in July.

At its workshop session Monday night, council discussed an inquiry the city had received in connection with the Great Downtown BBQ-Fest. It will be held Saturday, July 18, from noon to 9 p.m.

City Manager Mark Cundiff said if council approves the temporary permits, they would apply to Terry’s Place and Brew Nation, which have liquor licenses. “The idea would be to install some type of temporary fencing next to the buildings and place small tables within this area for people to sit and eat and drink and listen to the music from the BBQ-Fest,” Cundiff said in his report to council.

If council wants to OK a temporary license, it would need to do so at its July 13 meeting, Cundiff said.

Cundiff said Downtown Sidney Coordinator Amy Breinich was to talk to the owners of the two businesses to see if they would want to offer the outdoor service during the event. Breinich did not attend the council meeting and Cundiff said he had not received information from her by the time of the meeting.

“I would be OK with it,” said Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan, who said this could be a test to see if it would work at future events.

Councilman Ed Hamaker said allowing beer in a designated area would bring people downtown. He said other communities have allowed it, and the Mayfest, a festival that Sidney used hold, had a beer tent.

Cundiff said the concept of having a designated alcohol area at the Applefest was discussed in the past, but the city did not receive a formal request. He said some cities, such as Troy, have permanent liquor licenses for outdoor areas.

Councilwoman Janet Born said she would be willing to look at the proposal next year, but felt the notice was too late this year.

Cundiff said he would check with Breinich to see if the businesses were interested in the idea.

In other business, council reviewed upcoming agendas for July meetings. Among the items is an executive session at the July 13 meeting to discuss candidates to fill a vacancy in the 2nd Ward council seat. Mayor Mike Barhorst said there are four candidates for the post.

Council went into an executive session Monday night to discuss preparing for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees and to consider the purchase of property for public purposes.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.