When Wrightsville Borough Council passed a resolution suspending the York County borough’s open container ordinance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the intent was to help local restaurants until they could open for business again.
And now that the county has moved into the state’s green phase, restaurants are allowed to open at 50% capacity, which raised a question at council’s June 15 meeting about whether the open container suspension had run its course.
“I didn’t envision only 50%,” council President Eric J. White said, adding that he intended to lift the suspension when life returned to “normal.”
Council’s initial resolution only said the open container suspension would end after restaurants reopened for business. In a 4-2 vote, council addressed that by amending the resolution to continue the suspension until restaurants can open with “unrestricted” access.
Council members Frederick C. Smith Jr. and Rick McDonald opposed the amendment. Smith said the restaurants have done a good job so far, and now they are back in business. He felt it was time to end the suspension.
“We did this in good faith because there was an abnormal situation,” he said.
McDonald, who lives on Front Street not far from some bars and restaurants, said he has witnessed public urination and seeing “people walking up and down the street drinking beer like it’s their backyard.”
“That’s not necessary,” he said. “We gave them an inch, and they want a mile.”
White noted that police have made no arrests, and there’s been a significant uptick in people patronizing the bars. He did say American Legion Post No. 469 did get a little loud and rowdy on its first night open, and “as soon as they were made aware of it, they shut it down.”
In other business, White announced that Wrightsville will have fireworks on July 4. The Wrightsville Rotary Club and Home Association both contributed to the $3,500 deposit of the $7,200 cost, and the Smith Foundation paid the balance.
The fireworks show is scheduled for dusk. Front Street will be closed starting at 5:30 p.m., and a disc jockey and food trucks available starting at 6 p.m.