When: Marietta Borough Council meeting, livestreamed on Zoom, June 9.
What happened: Council agreed to extend a resolution suspending borough regulations for alcoholic beverages on streets and in vehicles for another month.
Why it matters: The measure provides relief for restaurants and bars with liquor licenses so customers can consume alcoholic beverages as they dine at outdoor tables with social distancing and also with takeout orders. Marietta officials said they want to bridge the gap until the dine-in option resumes under the green phase of the state’s reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quotable: “The bars and restaurants bring people to town and help all businesses. We need to do what we can to help them survive,” Marietta resident Ken Gall said.
Background: During an emergency meeting May 26, council members agreed to the temporary easing of the alcoholic beverage policy with the understanding they would review the policy again at the regularly scheduled meeting June 9.
At issue: Some people wanted to allow customers to be able to consume alcohol while walking around town, while others did not want to ease regulations at all. Mayor Harold Kulman said compromise was reached by a committee of council collaborating with 20 businesses in town “to represent everyone and to help all businesses.”
The resolution: The outcome was to allow customers to sit at tables along sidewalks and still be able to leave a 4-foot passage for pedestrians according to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and also allow restaurants with parking lot areas to place tables with 6-foot distancing. But all other regulations preventing people from taking alcoholic drinks around the borough’s public areas will still be in effect and enforced, said borough solicitor Brandon Harter.
Vandalism: Fire police chief Steve Bailey and zoning officer Tom Arnold reported to the council their vehicles were vandalized in the borough. Council discussed installing motion lights or cameras.
New date: Marietta Day is tentatively rescheduled for Aug. 29.