License decision delayed until December meetingNew Richmond’s liquor license ordinances may be rewritten to address some perplexing issues that have popped up in recent months.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
New Richmond’s liquor license ordinances may be rewritten to address some perplexing issues that have popped up in recent months.
At a special New Richmond City Council meeting Oct. 25, former business owner Mark Maple appeared to discuss his liquor license application that had not been previously approved in June.
Maple had held a Class B liquor license for about 30 years while he operated the New Richmond Bowling Center downtown, but his business went under earlier this year.
Despite the fact that he had no location at which to conduct business, Maple still held rights to the liquor license. Earlier this summer, he asked the city if he could have time to explore his options, including the possibility of opening a new business or selling his business to a potential buyer.
Maple was also given extra time to pay past-due property taxes he owed the city, which he has done to the satisfaction of city officials.
The council placed the liquor license matter on its agenda last week to get an update from Maple.
City Attorney Ron Siler said the city probably shouldn’t allow a liquor license holder to sit on an available license “indefinitely” while other businesses seeking such a license are waiting in the wings.
“You want to have that license being used,” he said.
Siler suggested the council establish some sort of deadline for Maple to decide what he wants to do in the future.
City Administrator Mike Darrow reported that several businesses have indicated an interest in securing a liquor license, so it’s important to move the issue along.
Maple said it’s unlikely that he and his wife will open a new business that would require a liquor license. The best option, therefore, is for him to sell his rights to the license, Maple told the council.
“I’m not interested in holding onto it,” he said of the license.
The council approved a motion to give Maple until early December to try and find a buyer for his license. Council member Craig Kittel said the city would like to see Maple sell the license so the business owner could soften his current financial struggles.
In discussing the liquor license topic, council member Jim Zajkowski said two other current licenses are floating in oblivion at the present time. Kellaher’s Bar and The Brick Oven are no longer operating and their licenses are not being utilized.
Council member Kirk Van Blaircom said the city’s economy is not helped when the limited liquor licenses it has to issue are not being fully utilized.
The council agreed to study the issue further, with an eye toward amending current ordinances to address licenses that are issued to businesses entities that are no longer operating.
For the complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.