During Saturday's Music on Main event, people who want to enjoy a beer while listening to the music will have to stay inside the bar where they purchased it.
The Aberdeen City Council recently approved a one-day permit for the event that didn't include the sale of alcohol. A representative of the group staging Music on Main, Sherri Bauer, asked the council on Monday that open containers be allowed on the 100 block of South Main on Saturday, as long as the beer is purchased in one of three businesses. Those businesses are the Ward Hotel, Slackers and the Silver Dollar Bar, all located on that block.
The request was made too late to go on the agenda for Monday's City Council meeting, so the only way the request could be granted is if the council held a special meeting, city attorney Adam Altman said. Because time is needed to publicize a council meeting, that meeting couldn't be held until Wednesday at the earliest, Altman said.
Bauer, director of the new Skeleton Key Gallery, said Music on Main organizers are trying to attract people who don't normally go downtown. They want to show those people the wonderful, positive energy that downtown Main Street has.
No beer vendors will be allowed at Music on Main, which runs from 1:15 p.m. to midnight. Two Aberdeen police officers have been hired to work from 6 p.m. to midnight. Organizers will also provide their own security, Bauer said after the meeting. No coolers will be allowed.
Council member Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, who asked a lot of questions about beer when the one-day activity permit was granted, said Monday that she is opposed to public consumption of beer at the event.
Councilman Clint Rux urged Bauer to ask earlier for the permission before next year's Music on Main.
Mayor Mike Levsen said he could schedule a special meeting to act on the request, but it would be a waste of time unless he felt that five council members were leaning toward approving it. And he didn't get that feeling, he said.
The council has learned over the years not to rush into things, Levsen said.
Also at Monday's meeting, the council gave first reading to an ordinance that would make it a criminal violation to write a bad check to the city.
If the ordinance is passed on second reading, the maximum penalty for giving the city a bad check would be up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, in addition to the $25 administrative charge. The city's municipal code does not currently include a bad checks ordinance.
Councilman Todd Campbell suggested that the city use tougher penalties, using those advocated by the South Dakota Retail Association. Altman will look into those penalties.
Also at the meeting, city manager Lynn Lander urged the council to be careful in granting money from the city's promotion fund this year. He urged council members not to give local groups money from the general fund.
The council heard requests from six organizations Monday, and will hear from seven more on July 16. A total of 29 organizations are asking for $1,343,650. The amount to be allocated by the council is $950,000.
Slaight-Hansen agreed with Lander, saying that in these lean times we need to be thinking about the city first.
Councilman Jeff Mitchell said, We're having to live within our means, and that hurts.