Jul 28, 2014
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Point Beach Bar Ordinance Up for Vote Tonight

Mayor, boardwalk business owners embroiled in standoff over fees

Point Beach Bar Ordinance Up for Vote Tonight Point Beach Bar Ordinance Up for Vote Tonight Point Beach Bar Ordinance Up for Vote Tonight

According to an agenda posted on Point Beach's municipal website two ordinances – one that mandates that bars close at midnight and another offering bars the option to pay a fee to stay open past midnight – will be voted on Tuesday night.

The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control confirmed that municipalities have the authority to mandate hours of operation for bars and restaurants with liquor licenses. However, a spokesman for the division did not want to comment on the municipality offering the payment of fees to stay open past mandated hours.

It's expected both ordinances will be adopted on second reading with yes votes,

The public portion of the meeting at borough hall is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The ordinance offers bar owners an option to pay a fee of $60 per person for two hours (midnight to 2 a.m.), based on the maximum occupancy of each bar, compared to the first ordinance, which had different rates.

That would mean Jenkinson's and Martell's would pay a combined total of $186,000, or less if they limit the area they use after midnight, as allowed by the ordinance, Mayor Vincent Barrella said.

For example, he said, Jenkinson's could decide to only serve alcohol in the front section (closest to the boardwalk) of their pavilion after midnight, which would reduce their maximum occupancy and, therefore, their fee.

Barrella denied rumors that he wanted the boardwalk owners to pay $500,000 per year or anything approaching that.

"I thought $140,000 was a little low, but I felt we were pretty close," he said, noting that the payment of $140,000 – rumored to be an amount discussed in negotiations to avoid the ordinance – is only $46,000 less than the payment of $186,000 that the two businesses would be making to stay open past midnight, as per the new ordinance.

When asked if it might be worth it to attempt further discussions with business owners as an alternative to the ordinance Scott Bassinder, owner and president of Martell's Tiki Bar, Bassinder wrote in an e-mail to Patch, "I don't know. Its hard for me to understand how anything can be settled when the mayor has such a deep rooted dislike for us."

"That's bull----." Barrella retorted. "I'll sit down and talk to anyone. I do not dislike them. But I dislike people on the boardwalk behaving badly. And I dislike that politicians in the past who let the boardwalk do whatever they wanted."

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