City leaders: We are not in ‘go-cup’ rush
Published 12:41 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017
by DAVID HAMILTON
NATCHEZ — More adjustments to the new “go-cup” ordinance were discussed Tuesday at the Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting.
The ordinance would allow those within the “go-cup zone” to exit a participating bar or restaurant with an alcoholic beverage and drink it as they walk within the zone.
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City Planner Riccardo Giani adjusted the proposed parameters for the go-cup zones, officially termed “leisure and recreation districts,” after receiving feedback in a Monday meeting with law enforcement officials.
Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten requested the proposed leisure district exclude most of State Street, which runs adjacent to the sheriff’s office, a request Giani included in the revised plan.
Patten said Monday he was concerned about the office being located near the zone’s edge due to the amount of traffic going in and out of the building.
Additionally, Giani said the map now encompasses a small segment of Pearl Street just south of Jefferson Street in order to include Pearl Street Pasta in the district.
Giani also proposed a separate leisure and recreation district that includes both sides of Franklin Street between Sixth Street and Brenham Avenue.
This proposition aims to accommodate bars and nightclubs in that area, including Club Paradise. Club Paradise owner W.C. Curtis has voiced his desire for the inclusion of his establishment and presented his case to the board of aldermen at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We want to be included in the success of Natchez, not excluded,” Curtis said.
Curtis also said he had spoken with Giani over the phone and felt that his concerns were being taken seriously.
But aldermen voiced other concerns throughout the meeting.
Ward 6 alderman Dan Dillard brought up littering as a main potential consequence of go cups. Giani noted in his plan that all businesses choosing to participate would be required to have trash receptacles at all entry points to combat littering.
Still, Dillard said he worried about the unforeseen consequences of the ordinance that people may not be considering. Dillard said he wants to “start small” because it would be easier to scale up the plan rather than implement the plan over a widespread area and have to reel it back, should any problems arise.
“Once you let the genie out of the bottle, it’s going to be hard to put it back in,” Dillard said.
Alderman Billie Joe Frazier, however, said he wants the map to encompass a large enough area in order to satisfy all segments of the population.
Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis asked for clarification regarding the provision that stipulates people cannot exit an establishment with a go cup and then reenter with that same cup.
Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said that the provision is meant to prevent someone, for example, from going to his car, filling the go cup with his own alcohol and then reentering an establishment.
Grennell also emphasized the importance of ensuring that the ordinance does not enable drunk driving.
“‘Go cup’ doesn’t mean go get a cup and get in your car and go,” Grennell said. “It’s not about getting in a vehicle. It’s about walking.”
The board made no decision Tuesday, with aldermen agreeing additional time would be needed before the board takes any action.
“I don’t think we need to do a rush job on this,” Grennell said. “I need to make sure we do it right.”