The City Council agenda for Tuesday evening had for the most part telegraphed their intentions towards discussion on the Port City Spirits Liquor Licence referral process, that with a recommendation to postpone the topic until June.
But as it was still part of the Agenda for the night, it was fair game for the Public Discussion period at the start of the Tuesday session and as it was two weeks ago, two residents chose to use that opportunity to share their thoughts on the application.
In fact, it was the same two participants in opposition from two weeks ago with Barbara Kuhl and Terry Sawka that spoke once again on Tuesday, recounting much of the same territory as their commentary provided two weeks ago.
Ms. Kuhl's largest concern is the proximity of the proposed Tasting Room and Lounge to the Friendship House and other services that are available on Fraser Street.
"You have a really major decision here Mayor and Councillors, and on one side is the expectation of four very capable and talented entrepreneurs who want to have a business.
On the other hand it's the population in that area that already established businesses, or institutions that are servicing needs which is just on the other side to me.
I think your duty, you know your responsibility is to consider all the people in Prince Rupert and weigh it and I know it's a heavy task. But I just think there are very many who are struggling and I do think that having an alcohol and food establishment opening up right there is going to be a stumbling block.
I would just ask you to ask yourself would you permit that to be next to a School, any school in Prince Rupert and that is a school and so much more"
For Mr. Sawka the opportunity to speak to the issue offered a chance to reinforce his concerns over the perception that the venture is considered as a tourist experience.
"The concerns I have the previous speaker addressed quite a bit about it. There was some discussions at the last Council meeting when I spoke against this.
And one of things was a councilman noted that this would be an idea where tourists ships, or tourist people would have a new experience.
Well getting drunk is not a new experience in my book. You want to get drunk, you can go anywheres to get drunk.
My concern here is that the hours of operation initially a year ago were not noted. It was just going to be a distillery. I've kind of researched and there's some distilleries around the province, not that many but There are some and they have a tasting lounge or tasting bar.
But these proponents sat on this for a year and now they're reapplying looking for a lounge licence.
Well, a lounge licence and a tasting bar are two different things.
One the hours of operations were going to be from 10 o'clock in the morning to I think to 11 o'clock at night and then on the weekends from 10 o'clock in the morning to two o'clock in the morning that's like a bar.
During the week we've got kids there, there's the Friendship House and next door there's another child care facility and the biggest thing of all is there is no parking"
Sawka would further note of some past discussion of council on the state of parking in the community.
"I have a concern that these people may be sitting back and waiting so that problem goes away"
He also shared his observations on the provincial and municipal overview of liquor licences and how the municipality can have some control over where liquor licences are put in place, reinforcing his main concerns over the proposal in front of council.
"I'm totally against this, if they want to have a distillery I don't have any problem with that. But I have a problem with off sales and I have a problem with it run like a lounge or a bar"
Council later would formally postpone their discussion to the topic, noting that the request had come from the proponents of the Liquor Licence Referral.
The topic will return for discussion at the June 12th Session of City Council
You can review the community participation to the topic from the City's Video Archive starting at the twenty nine minute mark. Council's decision to postpone the discussion to June comes up at the one hour seven minute mark.