The Commerce Journal

February 24, 2014

It’s closing time

Council votes against extending bar hours

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Last call for drinks in Commerce will stay the same.

The Commerce City Council voted down a measure that would have extended the hours of bars in Commerce from 1:15 a.m. to 2:15 a.m.

At first, Commerce Mayor John Ballotti requested a vote to table the motion in order to obtain more information regarding the later hours, but that motion was voted down in order to vote on the issue then.

“I think that it would be negligent not to vote on it tonight,” Councilmember Jean Klauss said. “As I understand it, any club now or future would be able to have those hours.”

Klauss said she would not vote to extend the hours.

“I believe it is in the best interest for us to vote no,” she said. “I could see people coming here and drinking. I think it could put our citizens at risk.”

Councilmember Richard Hill agreed, and added that his research showed it increased crime in a town in Illinois.

But, according to research articles funded through a grant from the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, the researchers found no substantial increase in DUI arrests or assault charges for towns and cities that went from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Deryck Gorman, owner of The Spot bar, said the council missed an opportunity to help, rather than hurt its residents.

“Our citizens are already driving to Campbell at midnight because there is a demand for service at that hour,” he said. “The council would do well to consider the schedules of its citizens rather than fear-mongering about it because it seems late to them.”

Goreman said he would bring the issue up again at a later councilmeeting.