The Finance and Personnel Committee voted to extend the Friends of Seniors lease at the former Lakeview Committee center. The Friends lease the space from the city for $20,000 per year. There had been talk of giving the community center to the zoo, but that's apparently put off for at least a year. The city is also forgoing the 4.4 percent increase - $880 in this case - on leases it's charging its other tenants.
Former Alderman Bob Morrison continues to fight for tighter restrictions on fireworks in the city. He met with the Public Safety and Licensing Committee on Monday to advocate for language in city ordinances that clearly limits fireworks to sparklers and snakes. The police chief, fire chief and a fire captain joined Morrison at the meeting to back the change. They also suggested Racine join with other communities in filing a public nuisance lawsuit against the Town of Raymond for its fireworks shops along the Interstate. Morrison is a long-time advocate for cracking down on fireworks.
Rapids Drive Convenience Store owner Stephen Grebe was back before the licensing committee on Monday. Grebe lost his request for a liquor license on Dec. 16 when former Mayor Gary Becker cast the deciding vote against his bid to sell alcohol at the new convenience store. His new plan is the same as the old, minus the liquor license. The committee approved the plan.
McAuliffe opening new space
J.J. McAuliffe won approval for a liquor license for a new banquet facility at 211 6th St. McAuliffe owns McAuliffe's on the Square on Sixth Street, as well as McAuliffee's Pub at 3700 Meacham Road.
A few bar owners appeared before the licensing committee this week. The owners of Infusino All Sport bar on Rapids Drive appeared for the second meeting in a row. They brought a list of changes they'll make to control fights and other incidents at the bar. The committee accepted the changes.
The owners of the Warning Track at 3458 Washington Ave. were ordered to work with the city attorney's office to clean up incidents at or near their place. The owners of El Coterreo, 1224 16th St., are doing the same.
The commission noted at its Wednesday meeting it was working to transfer land it owns to the library. It appears plans are moving ahead to move the library.
The city's utilities are also working on a new lease agreement with the Racine Yacht Club, and a pedestrian ran into the side of one of the utility's trailers while it was in motion. The pedestrian was injured.