Castleton considers open container ordinance with teethBy Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | September 25,2013CASTLETON — Walking in public with an open container of alcohol is about to get a lot more expensive once a proposed ordinance is put in place.
The Select Board overwhelmingly supported an open-container ordinance at its meeting Monday night. It will be brought back to the board at its next meeting for ratification, after which it will be advertised before it goes into effect — probably in November.
Among the points debated Monday night was the severity of the fines. The board settled on $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense.
The board — and the residents in attendance — wanted to ensure the ordinance would serve as a deterrent.
Selectman Wenger Rehlen expressed concern about the dollar amount.
“One thousand dollars is a lot of cash,” Rehlen said, to which several people pointed out that was exactly the point.
“I say make it hurt,” Selectwoman Cristine Smith said.
After some discussion, Rehlen floated the idea of making the fine top out at $500. But the room was in no mood for it and demanded the higher fine to serve as a deterrent.
Several questions about the ordinance were answered.
The open-container ordinance would apply to cans and bottles as well as plastic cups and other containers with alcoholic beverages. It would be in effect throughout the entire town of Castleton, not just the village.
It would only apply to public areas and have no effect on private property. Also, businesses that offer sidewalk dining or have an outdoor area would be OK because they would have a permit for that activity.
There would also be a provision to allow people to get a permit for parties or one-time activities.
It would not apply to the ice during the winter on Lake Bomoseen because that is controlled by the state, not the town.
Police Chief Bruce Sherwin said he supported the measure.
“It’s not that we want to go out and write these tickets,” Sherwin said. “But it should be an educational process.”
Town Manager Charles Jacien said the ordinance has been in the works for three or four years since the town passed a noise ordinance.
“We are one of the few municipalities in the county that does not have an open-container ordinance,” Jacien said.
When asked if the ordinance was in response to action by Castleton State College students, the town manager said only, “It’s another tool at (law enforcement’s) disposal for curbing bad behavior.”
email@example.comMORE IN This Just InFire crews responded to an alarm activation at the Rutland Mental Health offices at around 9:15 a.m. Full StoryRichard Courcelle sent in this photo of a bear he saw while having his coffee this morning. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: When all the big mammals are rubbed out and a faint geologic memory, rats the size of human beings will stalk the Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: National survey ranks Vermont kids' well-being in second place, Springfield takes up anti-loitering ordinance, Rutland debate taxis, Fair Haven woman is arrested in Rutland for prostitution.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather and news: Research scientists say schizophrenia and marijuana use linked. Are marijuana smokers schizophrenic or are schizophrenics more disposed toward marijuana use?
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 365 CE, eastern Mediterranean rocked by high magnitude earthquake and tsunami, in 1865, Davis 'Little Dave' Tutt meets Wild Bill Hickock in Springfield, Mo., to settle differences.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Pesticides in soil and ground water are killing not only honey bees and other useful insects, but songbirds as well.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Judge issues deposition order in for city police corporal's lawsuit against the department, market for marijuana-laced edibles en fuego in at least two states, West Rutland truck fire consumes all driver's earthly possessions.