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Geneseo says yes to outdoor alcohol consumption
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Geneseo says yes to outdoor alcohol consumption

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WHAT WE KNOW: Through COVID-19, bar patrons have been allowed to take alcoholic beverages outdoors in Geneseo.

WHAT'S NEW: After a lengthy discussion, aldermen voted 6-0 to amend city ordinances to enable bar patrons to take alcoholic beverages in plastic cups outdoors in controlled areas — for example, at the car show at Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Aldermen Martin Rothschild and Paula Simosky were absent. Speaking for the change, Mayor Sean Johnson, who is the liquor commissioner, said he wanted to do what was good for downtown business owners and get on a competitive basis with surrounding towns.

"For the sake of the business community as a whole, I think we should not be so fearful of what could happen," he said. "We should not embrace fear so bad that we don't give the ball that's rolling a chance to continue."

City Administrator Joann Hollenkamp noted the policy has been in effect for over a year with no issues whatsoever. Chamber Director Zack Sullivan said the Chamber was willing to invest in signs reading "No alcohol allowed beyond this point," and he said as the applicant for the permits, the Chamber wouldn't seek them for every event.

"Anything at the park, we're probably not going to pursue having alcohol at those events," he said.

WHAT'S NEXT: The council talked about welcome signs, a footbridge over Geneseo Creek at State Street and Oakwood Avenue and a large project on State Street from Ogden to Brown involving water, sewer and street work. The city obtained one quote for a 10-foot by 30-foot digital sign for the highway that would cost $245,000.

"Whether or not this is something the community wanted to rally around, I do not know," Johnson said.

Hollenkamp also talked of a digital sign for $40,000 to $60,000 that could be located in front of Casey's near Interstate 80 or at State Street and Oakwood Avenue.


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