BISBEE — No action was taken on the request of The Grand Saloon to approve an extension of premises which would include the Grand Hotel during the Sept. 15 meeting.
At the last council meeting Sept. 1, the mayor and council members did not fully comprehend the request of the Grand Saloon owner Kevin Arnold Kramber who asked for approval to extend the saloon’s premises to include the first and second floor of the hotel. Normally, a consent agenda item, it was pulled and moved to the regular agenda so the council could discuss it. It ended with the mayor and council requesting more information.
It was again on the consent agenda and again pulled during Tuesday’s meeting by Mayor David Smith.
“It causes me concern,” said Smith. “Under COVID–19 rules, a saloon can serve alcoholic beverages to guests in their rooms. So, what they are asking is already allowed. But, it may not be after COVID-19 rules are lifted.”
Currently, the grand saloon operates under a Series 6 liquor license. According to the state, the license allows owners to sell beer, wine and spirits to their customers for consumption on premises without any requirement to serve food.
As city attorney James Ledbetter pointed out, the governor’s COVID–19 order allowed liquor to be sold for offsite consumption and that applied to the saloon.
However, he suggested a more appropriate route would be for the saloon to request a Hotel/Motel Series 11 liquor license which would allow lodgers to take drinks to their rooms.
A Series 11 liquor license is non–transferable and allows the holder of a hotel/motel license to sell and serve spirituous liquor solely for consumption on the premises of a hotel or motel that has a restaurant where food is served on the premises, as stated on the state website.
“The restaurant on the licensed premises must derive at least forty percent of its gross revenue from the sale of food. The holder of this license may sell spirituous liquor in sealed containers in individual portions to its registered guests at any time by means of a minibar located in the guest rooms of registered guests,” the website states.
Ledbetter said, “I’m unclear what the purpose is, but the assumption is to expand the premises to allow the entire hotel to become a bar. I think the state liquor license board would have some issue with that. This would be an unusual extension of a Series 6 bar license.”
He suggested the owners check with the state liquor board.
The request failed when no one on the council made a motion to move it forward.
Animal 0rdiance committee dissolvedThe Mayor and Council dissolved the Animal Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee as the members appeared to have reached an impasse on the feral cat situation and what to do about it, though it was not a unanimous decision.
Councilwomen Joni Giacomino, who was the council liaison for the committee, Leslie Johns and Anna Cline voted nay. Councilmen Louis Pawlik and Bill Higgins, Councilwoman Joan Hansen along with Smith voted to dissolve it.
The feral cat situation has been contentious for a number of years as some citizens find the cats a problem, but others think the trap, spay/neuter and release program results in an acceptable population decline.
Smith said, “Multiple meetings were held, but nothing was getting done. They reached an impasse. The two members from the Friends of the Bisbee Animal Shelter (FBAS) resigned. Another member agreed the committee should be dissolved.”
The FBAS committee members who resigned were Kathy Sowden and Kelly Galligan.
Giacomino was upset she had not been advised of the measure prior to reading the meeting agenda and pointed out research was still being done on feral cat control. The three remaining members “never stated” they wanted to dissolve the committee.
She continued, “We had a good conversation going. Dumping on the shelter people is unfair. And the other three members are just as important. You’re not giving them enough credit. People have put a lot time into this.”
Pawlik stated, “I’m personally disappointed at the members of FBAS. This issue was turned over to these folks to resolve the impasse we had on feral cats. It was their responsibility to find a solution. They walked away.”
He went on to say the council needed to take up the discussion and “find a resolution to resolve this thing and stop letting it drag on for month after month.” Further, he wanted the council to approve an enforceable ordinance on the feral cat problem that exists throughout the city.
“It’s time to move off the dime and get it done,” he concluded. “The committee was not contributing to the solution.”