Beer and wine festival gets green light from councilPublished 8:55am Wednesday, May 21, 2014
An effort to bring a craft beer and wine festival to Niles received broad support from members of the Niles City Council.
A request by the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce to hold the festival July 25 in Riverfront Park was approved by a 5 to 1 vote Monday evening. Georgia Boggs and Scott Clark were absent. David Mann provided the “no” vote.
“I fully believe your committee has done excellent work in trying to promote this community, this project,” he said. “Personally, I am not sure if it is what Niles really needs at this point, but the majority rules. I just have to vote my conscience.”
Plans for the festival are to feature bands, local craft breweries and wineries. During the hours of the festival, the area will be fenced in.
The festival will serve as a fundraiser for the chamber in addition as a way to entice a tasting room into the city.
Also Monday, the council unanimously approved a request by the chamber to provide a beer tent during the Wednesday night Bring It Cruise-In events, which run from June 4 to Aug. 27 downtown. Chamber President Tyanna Weller said the beer tent would only be offered on the first Wednesday of each month. Proceeds will support the chamber.
Prior to voting “yes,” Councilman Bill Weimer asked Weller if downtown businesses, especially those that serve alcoholic beverages, are in support of the beer tent.
Weller said no one has spoken out against it to her knowledge.
“We are just trying to find a way to enhance the event,” she said.
Also Monday, the council received an update during a public hearing on the progress of the removal of the Pucker Street Dam from Utilities Manager Jeff Dunlap, who said everything is going well.
Councilman Tim Skalla said the city has two options: remove the dam or repair it.
“Repairing it is a much costlier deal,” he said.
Mayor Mike McCauslin reiterated that the city intends to remove the dam and hopes to do so by the end of 2015.
In a related move, the council approved the receipt of a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that will go toward the dam’s removal.
• The council set a public hearing for 5:55 p.m. June 9 for a Collection Systems Improvement Project to include the rehabilitation of portions of the city’s sanitary sewer, manhole rehabilitation upstream of the Grant Street Siphon and other projects. More information can be found on the city’s website, ci.niles.mi.us.
• Mann reminded the council that he would be traveling to Florida, causing him to miss all meetings until August. He said he would join the first meeting in June via Skype.