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Residents voice concerns over proposed alcohol ordinance

DULUTH -- In its monthly work session, the Duluth City Council listened to proposed amendments to the city's alcohol ordinance by the alcohol review board, prompting a lot of response from community members.

Many of the community members voiced concerns over the proposed amendments, as they felt the message was (according to Charles Summerour), "it's the best thing since sliced bread."

The multitude of proposed changes include hospitality zones, open areas, tastings, taverns and package store limits.

"Alcohol doesn't need to be introduced into everything," Summerour said. "Many of the residents have differing opinions than what the review board presented and we ask that you listen to all opinions and not just those who talk about economic development."

"Basically this is a gateway to 365 days of allowing this," Shelly Howard. "At first, it was for the special events held during the year and now it's on Fridays and Saturdays, so we go from 20 to 104 (days)," said Shelly Howard. "Basically, this is a gateway to 365 days for allowing this.

"We want facts and numbers that support the alcohol review board's recommendation. Not just, 'this is a great thing for us.' We need more than what they're giving us."

For a complete list of the proposed changes, go to the city of Duluth's Website at duluthga.net.

Other items discussed at the work session include:

-- The need for paving in the Woodehaven subdivision. Currently, multiple roads are in dire need of repair (as reported by city planning director Glenn Coyne). Although not currently on the budget, Coyne said he suggested the city council look into it as it's been an issue that's been present since the subdivision was finished in the late 1980s. "It's a problem that's not going to go away," he said. The matter was moved to the agenda for the August city council meeting.

-- The police department requested funds to post No Parking Zone signs in the Sugarloaf Ridge subdivision. Currently, cars are parked on each side of the road, making it tough for other cars to go down the center, including emergency vehicles. The signs will all be placed on one side of the narrow road to still allow for parking on the other side of the road, but keep an area clear for traffic. The matter was also moved to the agenda for the August city council meeting.