Downtown Vernon merchants hope liquor-related problems will ultimately be brought under control.
The Downtown Vernon Association has been presented with the city’s good neighbour agreement for liquor license holders. This initiative is commonly known as the bar watch program.
“The purpose of the program is to promote safety and security for all patrons in the downtown licensed establishments,” said Ruth Hoyte, DVA president, after a meeting with Vernon council Friday.
“It would also discourage and prevent individuals from engaging in unlawful and uncivil behavior within licensed establishments that might harm other patrons, staff and policy officers. This activity creates a poor image to the licensed establishments within the city.”
Hoyte says many downtown businesses have experienced problems from the activities of patrons leaving the bars at closing time.
“This is not only a policing issue, it is a community issue. We all have to role to play in a safe community,” she said.
“The DVA is confident that many of the licensed establishments in the downtown core would opt to participate. The agreement encompasses many of the procedures these licensee holders already have in place. It would also clearly demonstrate to their surrounding neighbours, their efforts to mitigate problems associated with their patrons.”
Other issues discussed by the city and the DVA Friday were parking, tourism and infrastructure.