Santa must have been feeling a little testy after having to cancel an appearance at the Sevastopol School holiday concert to attend the Sevastopol Town Board meeting at the same time on Dec. 19.
Santa (aka town Supervisor Tony Haen) made the motion to set the price for one of the three unused Class B liquor licenses the town has in its possession at $100,000. The license is being sought by Mike Brennenstuhl, who would like to purchase it for the restaurant portion of his Door Artisan Cheese Co., which is set to open in the spring in Egg Harbor.
Class B liquor licenses are issued according to the population of the municipality. Sevastopol was issued 10 licenses, which included a reserve license for the future. When two establishments closed, the town found itself with three unused licenses. State law allows a municipality to sell a reserve license to another municipality for a minimum fee of $10,000. The state does not set a maximum fee.
“I don’t believe it would harm us to let one go,” said Supervisor Chuck Tice, who quickly added, “Once it’s gone, it is gone forever.”
The only way a municipality can gain another license is for the population to go up by 500 more people than were there in 1997 or see the addition of a 300-seat restaurant in the town or a hotel with 50 or more sleeping rooms with either an attached restaurant for at least 150 people or a banquet room for 400 or more.
“The corridor is growing, people are building,” said Supervisor John Staveness. “We should hang on to it.”
Vice Chair Dan Woelfel, running the meeting in the absence of Chair Leo Zipperer, said the board should first place a value on the license to determine if Brennenstuhl even wanted to go for it. He also pointed out that Horseshoe Bay paid $50,000 for a liquor license for their beachfront operation next to Frank Murphy Park.
“I don’t feel it should be worth one cent less, and maybe more,” he said.
Tice said Door Artisan Cheese was built in a town without a license and the building proceeded without any guarantee of a license, and that the Town of Egg Harbor has yet to be heard from on the issue.
“We have no proof that if we did transfer it, they would even issue it,” Tice said.
“It might promote growth in the town if it’s known we have this,” Staveness said.
Haen said that if they sell the license, the town will receive the initial sum, but the annual $500 fee to renew the license will go to the Town of Egg Harbor, should Sevastopol release the license. That’s when he suggested the $100,000 fee.
“Maybe way too high, maybe way too low, but we’ve got to have a starting point,” he said.
“I have no idea how to set a price on this,” Staveness said.
“I move that if we sell the license, we sell it for the price of $100,000,” Haen said. Tice seconded the motion and the board voted to set the price, with only Staveness dissenting.
“The amount, Mike, is $100,000,” Woelfel said to Brennenstuhl in the audience, who said he would have to take that figure back to the management group and report back to the board at its January meeting.
The town also voted to end a memo of understanding with the Town of Jacksonport on sharing costs for maintaining the dam and other items on Clark Lake. When established in 2009, Jacksonport agreed to a 30/70 cost-share, but the Town of Sevastopol managed everything through its Parks & Recreation Board.
At a recent Jacksonport meeting, the town was advised by the Clark Lake Advancement Association to refuse to pay its 30 percent share until Jacksonport was given a voice in decisionmaking. At its November meeting, town chair Leo Zipperer said the town will not allow someone outside the town to serve on its committees.
At the Dec. 19 meeting, Supervisor Haen made a motion to dissolve the memo of understanding with Jacksonport. “We’ll cover the costs of the dam and won’t ask Jacksonport for any more funding or help,” Haen said. The motion passed.
Haen also asked his fellow board members to consider Santa and the Sevastopol School holiday concert when they schedule the December 2017 town board meeting.