Pool hall ordinance ready for a vote

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Messenger photo by Stephanie Nesler

Every dog has his say

Brett Luzader and his pal Skittles faithfully attend every Reynoldsburg City Council meeting.  Skittles, a chocolate Labrador,  was given special permission by Mayor Bob McPherson to attend council meetings.  Here Skittles listens attentively as his owner and Richard Donovan chat after a meeting.

A Reynoldsburg City Council member appears to be behind the eight ball in his opposition to allowing alcohol sales at billiard parlors, with colleagues ready to repeal a 40-year-old prohibition.

At the Oct. 1 council meeting, representatives continued to debate an ordinance that would change a law that forbids the sale of alcohol at establishments that have more than one pool table.   

Councilman Mel Clemens stated that he saw no reason to rush into a vote.  

"That’s why I didn’t vote for it the other night," Clemens said.  "If you have an alcohol license and sell alcohol it’s considered a bar or lounge. I just don’t want another bar in my district."

Councilwoman Donna Shirey agreed,  saying "This ordinance shouldn’t be passed immediately.  It should be discussed in detail."

Councilman Doug Joseph argued that updating this ordinance would do nothing more than allow existing establishments to have more than one pool table, adding that owners of establishments wanting to include alcohol sales would have to go through the proper process to obtain a license.

 "They would still have to come back and make their case here at council, where they may or may not have the support of council," said Joseph.

Councilman Ron Stake stated that it isn’t often that he disagrees with Clemens; however, he said he would have voted for the amendment on the first night.

"I’m ready to move ahead right now,"  Stake said.  

Councilman Brett Baxter said that Reynoldsburg has a business that is trying to establish itself as a family atmosphere and needs to serve beer, similar to bowling alleys.

"I’d prefer that type of business," stated Baxter, who said he is also ready to move forward with this legislation.

 

Owners of The Spot have explained that they need to offer alcohol to attract tournaments.

Reynoldsburg resident Ken Wright thanked Shirey and Clemens for stating their concerns about this ordinance.  

"I’m opposed to The Spot serving alcohol," said Wright, citing a rising crime rate as his major concern.  "Changing laws and allowing alcohol to be served where it has been prohibited for decades is a mistake."

 

This ordinance will return to council for its third and final reading Oct. 8.  

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