Members of the St. Marys City Council approved requests from the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday evening for matters related to the organization's 10th Annual Chamber "Wing Fling," which will be held on Friday, Sept. 9. Chamber President Mark Rupprecht was in attendance at the council meeting to answer council members' questions.
During the meeting, City Manager Dave Greene read a letter submitted by the chamber, which detailed the organization's specific requests for the event. According to Greene, the letter stated: "We would like to request the City Council waive the Open Container Law during the hours of the event, which is approximately 5 until 10 p.m., and will be held on Market Street, the Municipal Parking Lot between Market Street and So. St. Marys Street (next to Gunners) and the sidewalks along this perimeter."
The Chamber's letter also indicated that this request has been granted by the city for the past several years and has not resulted in any major incidents.
Additionally, the letter explained that Chamber members "will again be planning to set up tents in the parking lot on Thursday evening. The remainder of the set-up would take place Friday beginning at 1 p.m., at which time we would request that Market Street be closed to through traffic."
Mayor Sally Geyer remarked that the city had received a letter from another individual expressing concern about the Chamber holding the event in the downtown area; however, she did not disclose the name of that individual or what the letter specifically stated.
"I guess we did get a letter that there is a concern that the Wing Fling should be relocated out of the downtown area. It was just a comment," Geyer said.
Councilman Rick Gabler reminded city residents that the waiving of the open container law is limited to the area of the event and stressed that it will still be enforced throughout the city during that time period.
Councilman Bob Roberts questioned Rupprecht about the necessity of setting up the tents in the parking lot on Thursday evening.
"The event isn't until 5 p.m. the next day. Some of the criticism comes from that lot not being able to be used Thursday night," Roberts said.
Rupprecht responded that it might be a possibility.
"I don't know why [setting up the tents Thursday evening] is done, but I'm assuming it's done for just an ease factor," Rupprecht said.