Council frees up liquor license with The Spot’s non-renewal

The third time was not the charm for the prospective purchasers of The Spot and its liquor license.

A frustrated Oshkosh Common Council voted 6-1 Tuesday evening to not renew the liquor license for the tavern located at 2939 Jackson St. after discussing the renewal for the third time since early June.

Attorney Richard Knight previously told the council the Florida man he represented would complete the purchase of the property–and six others in the Fox Valley region–by July 15 and that councilors would see evidence of exterior improvements by Tuesday’s meeting.

But Tuesday, Knight said the sale had been pushed back to July 31 while City Clerk Pamela Ubrig informed the Council that taxes had not been paid and no construction permits had been applied for or issued.

Knight said the interior had to be cleaned for health and fire inspectors, but that weeds had been sprayed on the property.

He insisted the purchase would occur and that activities to date proved the tavern would be re-opened.

“There’s no other reason I’d be coming here paying for a license, going through inspections … what other intention would I have?” Knight asked. “… I knew you guys would ask all of this. You have no idea. I have so much time invested in all of these. It’s going to close.”

But six councilors, while sympathetic to the challenges the group faced, indicated it was time to not renew the license.

A motion by Councilor Sean Fitzgerald to lay the renewal over into August to give them more time died for lack of a second and Councilors voted 6-1 a short time later to not renew the license.

“I think we’ve stretched pretty far. We had a couple of other (license renewals) and we had information from the owner. We had validation of what was going on (with their efforts). It doesn’t exist here at this point in time,” Mayor Burk Tower said. “I feel badly for you, but you haven’t been responsible for the license, the taxes, anything that is of concern to us right now.”

The license now becomes the only available Class B liquor license available in the city. Tower added that he hoped the council would look to issue the license again within three to six months and encouraged Knight’s group to re-apply at that time.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s not what we like to see happen with the licenses out there. It will be out there in the next three to six months. If you’re interested in applying, you can submit an application that will be considered at that time.

In other business …

City seeks legal help with costly phosphorus permit requirements 

Councilors authorized City Manager Mark Rohloff to continue to retain two attorneys from Godfrey and Kahn to further assist the city’s evaluation and response to a draft phosphorus emissions permit for the wastewater treatment plant. The permit would require the city to reduce its phosphorus emissions into the Fox River to 0.4 milligrams-per-liter over a nine year period, with a rough cost estimate of $39 million.

Rohloff has authority to retain legal counsel as long as the costs stay below $25,000. In a memo to councilors, he indicated the resolution approved Tuesday acknowledged the draft permit’s details require further expenditures.

He said the costs for advising staff on the permit’s details could exceed $75,000, at which time Council would have to approve the agreement again.

Six Rivers donates river walk land

Councilors also unanimously voted to accept the donation of riverfront land along the former Jeld-Wen property from its new owners, Six Rivers Investments LLC, for construction of another river walk segment.

Rohloff said the land donation will give the city better standing as it pursues state grants to help offset the cost to construct the segment along the Jeld-Wen plant.


About Jeff Bollier

Jeff Bollier is an award-winning public affairs reporter for the Oshkosh Northwestern who covers everything from city hall to business. As Streetwise, Jeff delivers updates on the comings and goings of Oshkosh's retail and business world. Jeff is an avid Instagram and Twitter user and a member of the Northwestern Bacon Team.
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