Monmouth City Council approves federal grant application, sidewalk cafe ordinance changes

The City of Monmouth is reapplying for a Community Development Block Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grant aids municipalities with helping afford upgrades to low and moderate income neighborhoods.

City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher tells WGIL that the city is pursuing the maximum amount, $500,000, to replace a water main along Euclid Avenue that is in bad shape.

“Well, we’ve experienced 15 to 18 water main breaks in the last year and a half or so,” Steinbrecher said. “It’s an old pipe and it’s a major pipe.”

Steinbrecher says the line, like many in the city, is a 100-year-old cast iron water pipe that is breaking because of the pressures of freezing and drought.

He says the federal funds can only be used for the construction so the city will be on the hook for any administrative costs, including the engineering, design, and bidding.

Bars in Monmouth will soon be able to utilize enclosed, outdoor seating after the city council took more action in passing a resolution expanding the sidewalk cafe ordinance.

The council approved the ordinance change at Monday night’s meeting, allowing establishments that make less than 50-percent of their revenue off food sales to set up sidewalk cafes.

This ordinance had primarily limited bars from setting up outdoor seating but Steinbrecher says that with the change dram shops can now take advantage of the outdoors.

“So, it basically opened the opportunity for any liquor license establishment to have a sidewalk cafe. For people to sit and have a drink and maybe an appetizer or a meal.”

Steinbrecher says that between that sidewalk cafes could operate seven days a week between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 10 p.m.

He adds that the bars could still operate until 2:00 a.m. but that the outdoor cafes would need to be closed.

Aldermen also spent time discussing changes to the video game regulation ordinance as well as the new marijuana legislation. WGIL will have a followup story with Monmouth City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher on that discussion Wednesday afternoon.

Tags: ,