Casper Council Turns Down DCBA Open Container Proposal
At the Casper City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council talked about possible changes to the open container area for the coming summer season but decided against a proposal that would move the boundaries.
An open container area would allow people to carry alcohol within a designated area inside downtown Casper from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day weekend.
A request the council received on May 4 from the Downtown Casper Business Association included extending past Collins Drive on Center Street in order to pick up one of the bars located south of the drive.
The proposal also included extending the open container area north up to 1st Street to pick up several other restaurants in that area.
However, as city manager Carter Napier mentioned, there aren't any businesses located in the north section that has a liquor license specifically for off-site consumption, and many of them that are in that area close by the time the open container area opens.
There was also some consideration to having the area not extend to where Yellowstone Garage had been, due to some uncertainty about Rock the Block, but because the event will still be happening this year, they kept that area within the open container section.
Vice Mayor Steve Freel said that it doesn't make sense to extend the area north or south, because there aren't any businesses that would benefit in the north, and there's only one bar, Frosty's, that would be included, making the addition unnecessary considering there are other bars around town that could be picked up but aren't.
"You can't accommodate every bar downtown, so in my opinion extending this beyond what we already have is not a good idea," Freel said. "You're not going to please everybody, and it was meant for the core of downtown. So I personally think it should stay there, I certainly don't like the idea of crossing over Collins Street to pick up one alcohol establishment when you have that busy of a street too. That's my two cents, but I think we're just extending this to make some people happy when there are some you haven't even addressed."
Councilmember Kyle Gamroth said he wanted to know if it would be better to reduce the time from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Police Chief Keith McPheeters said that he would prefer the city to reduce the time by an hour, both because it wasn't used too much during that last hour and because of the budgetary strain it puts on the police department.
Councilmember Bruce Knell said that he would prefer it to stay at 10 p.m. because of the events that are held at David Street Station would work better if the open container area was kept for another hour.
The council will decide the specific area and times for the open container area at the next council meeting on May 17.