Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

While there are stipulations for comment periods, Chris Engel, director of economic development for the city, said he expects the state law to go into effect July 1, as planned.

“The way it’s structured with city law requires the council to pass an ordinance to allow it to happen, so there’s a bit of an internal process that we would need to work through with all the various stakeholders that would impact — for instance, the mall — and figure out what that process would be,” Engel said.

Councilors Heather Hill, Sena Magill and Lloyd Snook voiced support for the Office of Economic Development to start working on a draft ordinance to allow open containers on the mall. Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Councilor Michael Payne said they would like more information.

“We’ve had a lot of concerns about drinking in public, people being drunk in public … that’s one of the things I think we need to resolve as a city,” Walker said.

Ness said he has been working with social services on how this would be enforced.

Walker voiced concern for how an authorized cup policy would be enforced. She said she thinks people who already have ignored the rules against drinking on the mall would not be concerned about following an authorized cup policy.

“That is one thing that I hope we’ve resolved, where just because [people] don’t have that cup that they are unfairly treated in some way, because they are not going to understand that you can only drink from certain establishments,” she said.