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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission offers direction on pavilion liquor license bid"

Updating this ILB post from July 22nd, quoting from a story headed "State recommends local public hearing on pavilion alcohol license," this story July 31st in the Gary Post-Tribune, written by Amy Lavalley, reports:

While the state Alcohol and Tobacco Commission sent a controversial liquor license request back to Porter County, it has formally offered directives for the local board to proceed.

A July 27 letter from the chair of the state's Alcohol and Tobacco Commission directs the Porter County Alcoholic Beverage Commission when the local board gives a second look at a liquor license application from Pavilion Partners LLC. * * *

The local meeting is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 10 in the commissioners chambers of the Porter County Administration Building in Valparaiso, but David Cook, chair of the state board, said in the letter the county board may want "to find a more suitable location which would facilitate handling of larger crowds or reschedule the meeting… to a time and/or location more suitable for the anticipated crowds." * * *

Cook, who provided the letter to the Post-Tribune, noted "inaccuracies and/or inconsistencies in the permit application," including clarification of whether Chuck Williams, a Valparaiso businessman who is the principle in Pavilion Partners, is the sole owner, and what interest other parties involved have in the entity.

Cook also said that at the initial local board meeting, four people signed in as remonstrators but since then, the state has received 268 letters and emails opposing the permit application and three supporting it.

"They should be made a part of the local board record and considered by the local board in determining the need for those services at the proposed location, the desire for these services in the local neighborhood and community, and whether the proposed services would have a negative impact on other businesses in the neighborhood" according to state statute, the letter states.

Local board member Ralph Levi, who voted in favor of the license with Excise Officer Jamie Patrick in June, said the board would address the state's concerns and see what happens.

"I had nothing at the meeting (in June) other than that people didn't want it. There was nothing precluding giving them a license at the time," he said.

Cook's letter states that "one local board member qualified his no vote because he wanted additional time to have questions answered but that request was denied. The commission believes additional time should have been allowed so all board members are in a position to make an informed vote."

That board member was Rudolf Sutton, who said he had questions about how a new state law allowing alcohol 100 feet from the pavilion would be handled, and who would be in charge of enforcement.

"I thought it was premature to make that decision," he said, adding he's already received around 12 emails and six calls both for and against the license.

"We're going to have to weigh all that out," he said, adding he couldn't recall a license application being returned to the local board from the state. "I'll have a little more information than I had before."

In the NWI Times yesterday Deborah Laverty reported in a story headed "Dunes pavilion group seeking South Shore support":
CHESTERTON | Investors behind the Indiana Dunes State Park pavilion restoration and expansion project came to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District seeking a partnership.

Pavilion Partners LLC spokeswoman Deb Butterfield and member Chuck Williams made a presentation to the NICTD board on Friday.

The two outlined proposed plans for the restoration and expansion and extended a request for a partnership between the two factions.

"We're excited about our plans. We will be neighbors and we want to talk about the synergy that can be created between the two. We hope we will be in communication as plans unfold," Butterfield said.

Williams said a 35-year lease, with two extensions, has been approved between Pavilion Partners and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The lease agreement that has been agreed upon is $8,000 per year with 2 percent of sales paid to the state. * * *

Elevators will take visitors to the pavilion roof where events for up to 200 people can take place year-round.

The pavilion roof will include outdoor seating during warm weather months for open air dining and fireplaces to be used during cold weather months.

Work on the banquet center will start in the spring of 2016 and be completed by the spring of 2017.

"We're just starting the design process," Butterfield said.

The economic impact should be a very positive one since it's expected the pavilion banquet facility will bring in some 63,000 guests per year, she said.

Many of the guests will be staying overnight so the banquet facility will bring in some $9 million to the area by those spending money at other businesses such as hotels and restaurants, Butterfield said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 1, 2015 06:37 PM
Posted to Indiana Government