Proposed City Ordinance Has Business Owners Concerned
The city says they pay a high price to keep law enforcement downtown after hours, but bar owners say they shouldn't have to pay the price if young adults drink illegally.
A city ordinance proposed on Monday night would make bar and club owners pay the price if underage drinkers are found drinking in their establishments.
Treniss Evans of "The Spot" and fellow bar owners are opposed to being penalized for young people's irresponsible behavior. Under the new ordinance, bars will have to apply for entertainment permits to allow 18 to 20-year-olds to dance inside. And, bar owners say they feel singled out.
But, the city says this isn't about affecting businesses bottom line.
"Essentially what we're trying to do is create an economic incentive for bars to follow the law," said Gainesville City Commissioner Jeanna Mastrodicasa.
With the new permit, bars found with an excess of violations will no longer be able to admit underage adults. Mastrodicasa adds it's about saving the city money in providing law enforcement to control after hours.
Bar owners are hoping to work with the city commission to come to an agreement over parts of the ordinance. The city's attorney has not yet drafted the language of the ordinance.
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