Monessen may cap bottle clubs
By Chris Buckley
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
Monessen residents may be asked to decide whether to prohibit bottle clubs in the city.
Council is expected to vote Wednesday to place the question on a ballot referendum for the 2014 primary election.
During council's work session Monday, Mayor Mary Jo Smith said police Chief John Manderino requested council consider approving the referendum. Smith said the city currently has no bottle clubs and the chief is being proactive.
City Solicitor Mark Shire said bottle clubs are not prohibited in Pennsylvania, but municipalities can ask voters to approve referendums to do so in their respective communities.
“Council can't legislate bottle clubs,” Shire said. “It has to be done on the ballot.”
A bottle club is a place where patrons — often members — are served drinks from their own bottles without regard to liquor control laws.
Bottle clubs are not regulated by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, creating issues involving underage drinking and serving of liquor to intoxicated people, Shire said. He said prosecuting bottle clubs is “problematic” because enforcement relies on local police getting patrons to testify.
Shire said there is a potential for violence involving intoxicated patrons spilling out into the streets.
While the state LCB controls the number of liquor licenses it awards, bottle clubs are outside of that jurisdiction, Shire said.
“One way to regulate them is through zoning, but that still puts the burden on the local community to regulate them,” Shire said.
While voters may get to decide that issue, the City of Monessen is out of the running even before a reality show got off the ground.
Monessen was the top choice among producers for a new show called “Town 180,” Smith said.
Under the premise of the weekly show, two teams within the town will “put into action” a plan to turn that community around 180 degrees, creating jobs and creating a whole new economy, Smith explained.
The grand prize would be $100,000 and six months of professional development counseling.
The show will be spread out over 10 episodes that cover six to eight months.
“Town 180” was developed by George Christo and attorney R. Randy Lee, who developed the plan to convert blighted properties in the city into an art community, popularly known as “Monessen Rising.”
Smith said producers told her Monessen was the “number one contender” for the show, but she informed them she was defeated for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the spring. Lou Mavrakis, who won the Democratic nod, and Robert Zynosky Jr., who was unopposed for the Republican nomination, both have publicly stated they do not support Monessen Rising.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- BVA senior takes Relay for Life personal
- Local kids enjoy Easter egg hunts
- Pastor’s childhood tale, scar key to Easter message
- Brownsville Area senior wins major honor at state farm show
- Grant helps Belle Vernon teacher build collection of Civil War artifacts
- Another Donora bank building getting new tenant
- Local runners set for Boston
- Ozarks tournament filled with pageantry, top players in 1961
- Memorial tribute planned for Donora native Galiffa
- Bellmar High School alumni share special bond
- Charleroi Regional makes 3 drug arrests