Geneseo Council approves special event alcohol license

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Geneseo welcome signs

The Geneseo Council met Tuesday the 16th, Martin Rothschild and Paula Simoksy were absent. 

The agenda called for the cleaning up of some ordinance wording regarding allowing adult beverages outside of bars and restaurants in the city.  After much discussion regarding the hows and whys of the ordinance, it was ultimately passed by a 6-0 vote.  

The recent Trains, Planes and Automobiles event downtown allowed patrons of downtown eating and drinking establishments to take adult beverages outside, in allowed plastic containers, and carry it while they viewed the ongoing car show.  It is within the parameters of the ordinance that was passed during the Covid restrictions to help downtown establishments, and covered the Central Bank Pavilion area, where patrons could purchase food and drinks and enjoy them there, al fresco.  

Derke Price, City Attorney, read the state code, outlining the necessary provisions.  The area must have a defined, blocked off, perimeter, the alcohol must be purchased from a licensed vendor, and transported in a plastic cup. The purchaser must be wearing a band or bracelet provided by the vendor.  This does not occur anytime, but only in circumstances when a Streets & Sidewalk Special Event License is requested of the city for an event, in this case, the Chamber of Commerce.

Zack Sullivan, Executive Director of the Chamber, stated that the Chamber would be willing to invest in signage declaring "No Alcohol beyond this Point".  He pointed out that the Chamber would probably not be seeking the permits for events in the parks.  

Mayor Johnson, who also acts as liquor commissioner, stated that the ordinance had already been created, and that utilizing common sense, it would enable the City to continue to help the bars and restaurants.

The City also returned to the subject of signage.  Three signs have been ordered to replace existing wooden ones at entrances to the City.  The  new signs will consist of  stone columns and a green resin sign with "Welcome to Geneseo" in white.  These are similar to the one at the entrance of the Historic District.  

The Council also brought up signage discussed at an earlier meeting, and the addition of a larger, possibly digital sign, at the Southernmost entrance near the I-80 exit, most notably on the right of way in front of Casey's.  The potential cost would be in the $40,000 to $60,000 range, and the City could announce upcoming events there. Another possible area would be at the intersection of State Street and Oakwood Avenue.  A larger LED sign with several possible  placements, including along I 80, was priced for informational purposes. 

The introduction of a possible pedestrian footbridge over the Geneseo Creek was also made in the area of the Oakwood and State Street intersection.   Mayor Johnson thought it would be a good way to keep pedestrian or bike traffic headed towards Richmond Hill safely off the street.  The bridge would be located in a TIF district which might be an option to pay for it.