(Posted May 30, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A proposed pub in Mount Sterling is raising questions and comments from the mayor, council members and citizens.
Mayor Billy Martin announced at the May 23 council meeting that Hammertime A Partnership, the company looking to open a pub at 27 S. London St., must resubmit its request for a Class D5 liquor license to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control (ODLC). He said the address for the property was listed incorrectly on the original request.
Under the Ohio Revised Code, a Class D5 permit allows an establishment to serve spirituous liquors for on-premises consumption only, as well as beer, wine and mixed beverages for on-premises consumption or for carryout in original, sealed containers until 2:30 a.m.
The address is critical, Martin said, because ODLC authorities must determine whether the property lies in a precinct that is designated “wet” (allowing for liquor sales) or “dry.”
Martin added that several residents have expressed concerns to him about the proposed pub, citing worries about noise, safety and parking. He said he, too, was concerned about parking.
Josh Narwold, who lives near the site of the proposed pub, addressed council. He said his concerns include noise and the safety of his two young children.
Martin suggested that anyone who has comments or concerns call the ODLC. Village leaders have no jurisdiction over the liquor permit process. In April, village council opted to forgo a public hearing with ODLC, which conducts its own investigations for liquor license requests.
Council member Becky Martin said she understands the concerns but said village leaders and residents need to let the ODLC’s investigation and process run its course.
She said she has talked to the owner, who said his vision for the business is a family-friendly place. The names associated with the Hammertime partnership are Michael Havens and Deanna L. Pettit.
Council member Mike Bennett said he has heard the pub characterized as a biker bar but said it might be a nice place to go to watch television and have some food.
“I don’t think we have to panic yet,” Becky Martin said. “If we want to see our community grow, we need to welcome businesses.”
She said a lot of money has been invested into the building at 27 S. London St. to make it business ready. She also said the village has a noise ordinance on the books.
About parking concerns, she added, “If it were a church going in there, would we be worried about parking? Parking has nothing to do with what is inside. It is not a legitimate reason to keep it out of town.”
Council approved an appropriation to pay for additional training for Cody Lindsey, the village’s water plant operator. Courtney Bricker, fiscal officer, said the original cost for the training was $7,800, but she got the provider, Tonka Water, to lower the price to $3,300.
Brandon Fetzer, village administrator, reported that he is waiting on three quotes for pothole repair in the village.
Bricker said she and Fetzer met with David Kell, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Madison Future Community Improvement Corp. (CIC), to talk about how the Chamber and CIC can help Mount Sterling grow, especially when it comes to housing.
Council’s next regular meeting is at 7 p.m. June 10 in council chambers at village hall.