The Point Beach Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to undo an early bar closing ordinance passed last year.
The vote during the council meeting at Borough Hall was adoption of an ordinance to repeal an ordinance adopted last year to require all bars and restaurants in Point Beach to stop serving alcohol by midnight.
Last year's ordinance rolling back the "last call" to midnight never went into effect because the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a stay.
Regarding last year's early bar closing ordinance, Mayor Vincent Barrella said on Tuesday night, "When this was adopted last year, it was a lawful ordinance. I wish the state would show as much interest in us with Sandy as with things they shouldn't stick their nose into."
The ordinance adopted Tuesday night maintains the status quo of allowing the sale of alcohol except between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. Council members who had supported the midnight "last call" had a change of heart in December, when Jenkinson's Boardwalk and the town came to an agreement that led to council agreeing to repeal last year's ordinance.
The agreement calls for Jenkinson's to drop all legal action against the early bar closing ordinance and against a parking plan that restricted overnight parking in District 4; for Jenkinson's to help pay for Sandy-related boardwalk repairs not covered by insurance or FEMA reimbursement; and for the town to repeal the early bar closing ordinance and to keep any revisions to last year's District 4 parking plan within certain boundaries.
Regarding the proposed parking plan for this summer,
Cortes said he had received a list of 97 local properties in District 3, found phone numbers for 60 of them and left messages on 24 numbers. He ultimately spoke to 19 residents in District 3. Five were for the parking plan, 10 were against it, four were undecided.
He said that regardless of what people's opinions were, all of them appreciated that one of the council members had called them to ask for their input.
"People said thanks for calling," he said.
He said he would rather see the parking plan kept the same as last year, with the possible exception of excluding Channel Drive.
"If it's the same as last year, it will be easier for people to remember," Cortes said.
Cortes had originally been against the parking plan,
At the last council meeting when this was discussed, Reid said he could go along with a parking plan like last year's which was only in place in District 4, but that he did not favor expanding it into part of District 3.
Council members Kristine Tooker, Bret Gordon and Michael Corbally said they were in favor of expanding the parking plan into a section of District 3, but also agreed to make the restricted time period shorter. (For more details about the proposed parking plan for this summer, click here.)
A public hearing and adoption for the revised parking plan for this summer is scheduled for March 5.
Barrella has said he hopes Martell's Seabreeze/Tiki Bar will consider joining with Jenkinson's in dropping all litigation against the parking plan. An attorney for Martell's has said the lawsuit won't be dropped and Ed Brannagan, Martell's assistant general manager, said in a recent interview, "The parking plan killed our business."