City Council reviews liquor license, tackles sustainability

Taylor Diles

The City Council reviewed a 12 month liquor license request from Sips/Paddys bar.

In October of 2010, a young woman was discovered in a storage room of Sips/Paddys in Campustown. She was unconscious, covered in vomit and her pants were down to her knees. The police were able to bring the woman to get medical attention after being alerted to the situation by another patron at the bar.

The managers of Sips/Paddys were unaware of this until Monday. “We are confused at how this happened,” said one manager.

Peter Orazem (an At-Large Representative on the City Council) called these events, “disturbing.” 

As the official report states, Sips/Paddys has been very cooperative with the Ames police department. They have been proficient in making sure their staff is capable of handling IDs, with over 90% being properly trained (this is impressive when considering the high turnover rate of positions.). They have also done a great job in turning over all fake IDs encountered, over 200 in the last year.

But what troubles the Council, as well as the police, is the number of public intoxication citations given in the establishment, with 8 arrests inside the premise since last September. There is also a tendency to over-serve, with one case currently under investigation. Because of this, the Council granted a 6-month renewal of Sips/Paddys liquor license, while requiring the management to return in a month for a reevaluation of their practices.

These practices include better communication with the police department as well as with their employees. The managers were adamant that they were never informed of the events that took place on that October night, even though they were in the building at the time it unfolded.

One police officer said to the Council, “I find it hard to believe that they [managers of Sips/Paddys] didn’t know what happened.” 

The Council granted Sips/Paddys a six-month liquor license.

The City Council was also updated on the Live Green! initiative, headed by Merry Rankin, Rankin is a head of a task force, which consists of representatives from the business and residential districts as well as a representative from the GSB. 

The Sustainability Task Force has already created three advisory committees to help the city become electrically efficient. Now they are wanting to do more. They came to the Council with a proposal that the task force would expand their goals over all economic, environmental and socail aspects of the city in order to create a fully sustainable area. Rankin pointed out, “The University is doing a lot of these things already. It might start in one particular area, and then spread to the others.” 

They will do this by eventually adopting a certain framework for the city. This isn’t a plan, necessarily, but instead a way to organize a plan. 

However, Jami Larson, Representative of the Second Ward, asked Rankin, “Aren’t we already doing this? Isn’t this what we were elected for?”

At the end of the discussion, the Council decided that they would have the city staff work with the committees to bring a full report to the council, including how other cities resembling Ames (such as La Crosse) made this sort of process work. 

The task force is at a very early stage in planning.