CW Labor Day could feature beer garden

Changes in the Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival could find revelers enjoying a cold beer under the shade of a hospitality tent in the lot behind Bolenbaugh’s Hardware store throughout the three day run of the event.

Festival Secretary Marsha Hall proposed the idea to Canal Winchester Village Council after stating festival preparations are underway, things are running smoothly, and entertainment is scheduled. She said, because of an increase in the number of vendors, the Labor Day committee is also asking the village to move crafters to the green space behind Stradley plaza.

With regard to the hospitality tent concept, Hall said, "For quite a few years, we’ve had people approach us about a beer garden/hospitality tent. We talked with a couple of area businesses and gave people the opportunity to discuss it with us. Kingy’s met with the committee about the possibility. He (Bert Reynolds, Kingy’s owner) worked with the owner of Bolenbaugh’s. The liquor control agency also requires a number of permits. The festival committee has their own liability insurance, as does Kingy’s and Bolenbaugh’s, so the village is not liable."

According to Hall, the committee plans to open the tent at noon on Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31 and 11 a.m. on Labor Day, and close the same time as the festival. Food would not be available inside the tent, so it would not conflict with food vendors.

"Then plan is to have a big screen TV inside the tent for the Buckeyes game. And after expenses have been paid, he (Reynolds) will donate all profits back to the Labor Day Festival. Children would not be allowed inside the tent and the area would be physically roped off," said Hall. "I think it would be a nice attraction for the village. Because of police supervision, I don’t think there’ll be any behavior problems. We’ve done a lot of leg work on the hospitality tent."

Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon did not feel the hospitality/beer garden tent idea was detrimental and Mayor Mike Ebert commended Reynolds for donating 100 percent of the profits back into the event.

"This is good PR," admitted Reynolds. "They’ve (Labor Day Festival Committee) always lived on a thread and this would be good for the festival and the committee."

Other CW news

•Finance Director Nanisa Osborn briefed the council on the 2009 tax budget. She said general fund revenue, budgeted at more than $6.5 million for the year, is one and a half percent lower than 2007. Tax revenue is expected to increase slightly over three percent over 2007 and local permits are projected to increase over the 2008 budget.

Salary accounts include a three to four percent increase. Benefit accounts include a three percent increase in health care costs and an increase in PERS employer share costs of up to 14 percent. A quarter of a million dollars was budgeted for rehabilitation of Winchester Village section one and $125,000 for repair of alleys, ramps, and sidewalks.

An Issue 2 grant/loan for more than $909,000 was included in the budget expense highlights, along with water and sewer revenue highlights such as a four percent increase in both funds for 2009. The projected balance on Jan. 1, 2009 is $9.6 million, with total revenue of almost $13.8 million and total expenses of more than $14.1 million.  The 2009 year-ending balance is estimated at $9.28 million.

•Ebert said the Crime Watch Program started June 26. Training classes for the citizen patrol endeavor take place every Thursday for the next 10 weeks.

"I’m happy to report the volunteers who signed up officially started their training. When they graduate, we’ll soon have them on the streets. Thanks to all the volunteers, we will soon see our efforts pay off by hopefully curbing and lowering our crime rate," said Ebert.

•A detour route was established for the remainder of the Columbus Street project. Canal Winchester Schools Superintendent Kim Miller-Smith met with Ebert in discussing re-opening of the previous Washington Street detour, which winds its way through school grounds west of the district’s white house and modular units.

The route follows paved areas running through school grounds to the north high school parking lot. Speed limit signs of 10 mph were posted, along with yellow "SLOW" signage. Ebert said the detour/alternate route would hopefully alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for construction workers and traffic.  

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