Expansion of strip club hours, river walks on agenda

Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006

After operating Good Time Charlie’s for 34 years, owner Charles Cunningham isn’t pleased with a new Soldotna rule saying the bar must close at midnight.

In an attempt to tighten restrictions on adult-oriented businesses operating in the city, Soldotna last year enacted a new municipal code regulating locations and hours of operations.

The new rule mandates the businesses be closed between midnight and 9 a.m.

Cunningham told the council two weeks ago that his patrons usually begin showing up around 11 p.m.

That makes the new rule unacceptable.

With that in mind, the city will consider an amendment to its rule at tonight’s city council meeting.

The amendment would allow businesses holding a liquor license and operating as adult-oriented businesses to stay open until 5 a.m.

Charlie’s, a bar and strip club at the east edge of the city, is the only such business operating within Soldotna city limits.

According to City Manager Tom Boedeker, the city tried to “draw this (amendment) narrow” to apply solely to the one business.

Boedeker said the matter is not one of a law being created after a business already is in existence, but rather a matter of regulating businesses.

The city council also is slated to conduct the second and final public hearing on the city’s fiscal year 2007 $10 million budget.

Boedeker said earlier, the $10 million includes $1.5 million which is being transferred to capital and $600,000 transferred to other funds.

The council also will consider extending a contract with Codes Knowledge Co. to review building and fire code compliance for the Central Peninsula General Hospital expansion project.

Boedeker said in small projects, the code reviews are done in house or with the help of Central Emergency Services.

“In larger volume projects, we go outside,” he said.

A list of possible river walks also will be presented to the council for prioritization, including an underpass beneath the new Kenai River bridge, a walk linking the visitors center with Centennial Campground and rebuilding the Kenai Classic-Visitor Center fish walk.

Boedeker said city administration will be asking if the council wants the city to seek grant funding for any of the potential projects.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. today in city hall.

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