City Council votes on permanent bar time

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Charleston bars are officially allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. after the Charleston City Council voted to amend the ordinance at their meeting Tuesday.

The ordinance was made permanent after Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs and Charleston city attorney Rachael Cunningham met with the holders of the liquor license.

“I had a meeting with all of the liquor license holders, and at that meeting there were no complaints either,” Combs said.

Combs said he had not heard any complaints about the later bar closing time from police officers or firefighters.

The council temporarily passed the ordinance for the later bar closure times to see if it would help cut down on the number of parties.

The amendment to the ordinance originally went through a six-month trial run and was set to expire on Aug. 1 and was extended to Oct. 1.

The council also voted to pass the request for certain street closures for two different events happening on Dec. 5.

The requested street closure for Eastern’s fourth annual “Holiday Hustle” includes the area around Eastern’s campus.

The route runners will begin at Old Main and run around the entire campus, including the area around University Court and a part of the neighborhood just south of Roosevelt Drive.

Runners will also run the Panther Trail and head back to the finish line at Old Main.

“The streets will not actually be closed to parking and traffic,” Combs said.

Volunteers will be placed with stop signs at certain busy intersections to help people cross.

The other street closure request that was approved was for the annual “Christmas in the Heart of Charleston” also on Dec. 5.

The streets that were requested for closure are Monroe Avenue from Sixth to Seventh Streets, Sixth Street from Monroe to VanBuren avenues, Jackson Avenue from Fifth to Eighth streets, VanBuren Avenue from Sixth to Seventh streets, and Seventh Street from VanBuren to Madison avenues.

The streets are planned to be closed from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5.

The city hall parking lot will also be closed from midnight on Dec. 5 until 8 p.m.

The council also voted to annex the property where the U-Store location currently is adjacent to the eastern part of the city.

The property being annexed is approximately 15 acres and will occur in three parts.

Two acres will be annexed now, two more acres will be annexed in five years and the remaining nine acres will be annexed in 10 years.

The owners of the property will sign over 1.9 acres of the property to the city and will be annexed immediately, according to the memorandum submitted by Steve Pamperin, the city planner.

The city will use the property to construct a walking, hiking and bike path that will connect to the existing city hiking trails as well as Sister City Park.

The council also approved the adoption of the new debt policy, which will help establish objectives and practices for debt management for the city and assist all concerned parties in understanding the city’s approach to debt management, according to the resolution.

The current rating for the debt policy has an AA minus rating, which is a high rating.

“We want to be able to keep it so we can review how to handle debt,” Combs said.

Other approved items on the agenda were the updated 2015 Emergency Operations Plan, an intergovernmental agreement to use ambulance billing software and procedures with the Kansas Fire Protection District and a resolution supporting a whole community approach to emergency management.

“We have FEMA, but we recognize that there is more that can be done locally,” Combs said. “It helps us to become a ready to respond community and it shows that the city of Charleston is ready in case any disasters happen.”

Luke Young, a sophomore finance major, said he was representing student government and shared some ideas that student government is planning.

“One of the big projects we’re working on is going local into the schools and getting Eastern’s name out to the local kids,” Young said.

Young said they want to bring Eastern into a brighter light and try and give people a new perspective on Eastern.

Young said student government would like to build a relationship with the Charleston Police Department and is also trying to plan a basketball tournament between Eastern students and CPD.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]