Nevada City banishes glass at street fests |

Nevada City banishes glass at street fests

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The Nevada City City Council has preliminarily approved a street ban on drinks in glass containers during Mardi Gras/Joe Cain Day, Constitution Day, Fourth of July, Summer Nights, Victorian Christmas, and other special events.

Meanwhile, in Grass Valley, the City Council late Tuesday night voted 4-1 to give preliminary approval to alcohol consumption by permit during city events. A second vote will be required. Drinking in public areas is currently banned.

In Nevada City on Monday, the glass-container vote was 3-0-2, with Mayor David McKay and City Councilman Steve Cottrell abstaining. The reason, they said, was because they have done paid work for the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, which orders street closures for special events.

A second vote is necessary before the ordinance becomes law.

Bob Buhlis, chamber vice president, urged the City Council to support the glass ban for safety reasons. “It’s a safety issue,” he said.

The chamber endorsed the ban after people threw bottles at last year’s Joe Cain event.

Under the ordinance, city-sponsored posters would encourage people to purchase drinks in plastic or aluminum containers during special events and to abstain from drinking from glass containers on the streets.

Wally Hagaman, owner of the Pine Street Market, said Tuesday he has agreed to display the posters.

“I think this is a question of public safety,” Hagaman said. “It is the responsibility of merchants and citizens to support the wisdom of our elected officials.”

Also Monday, the chamber’s committee responsible for the Mardi Gras festivities decided to include a “no glass containers” clause on its posters for the event.

— In another action, the council appointed Vice Mayor Kerry Arnett and Councilman Cottrell to meet with school district officials to discuss school traffic on Reward Street, a residential street off Zion Street.

Members of the Old Reward Neighborhood Association have repeatedly complained about the school traffic to and from Seven Hills School, which, they said, is dangerous. The fire road linking the school to Reward Street was only to be used for emergencies, they have repeatedly said.

Fifty to 100 students travel down the road, and families are picking up their children at that location, John Halverson, superintendent for the Nevada City Elementary School District told the City Council.

Association members have also complained that the water pressure in the neighborhood is fluctuating because of the growing school campus. Three new portable buildings were installed last year.

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