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Cape to consider beer ban during states of emergency

By Staff | May 31, 2018

By CHUCK?BALLARO

news@breezenwspapers.com

If there’s a major storm coming and you’ve run out of beer, it may become much more difficult to restock in the city of Cape Coral

The Cape Coral City Council during its regular meeting Monday at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall will consider an ordinance that would amend one that’s already in the book pertaining to fire prevention and emergency management so it would be consistent with national standards.

The ordinance would be all encompassing, but the major additions to it would be on burn bans during the dry season and the ability to purchase beer when a state of emergency is issued.

The burn ban would take place when the drought index goes to 600 or higher. Embers from burning can travel up to one mile and 90 percent of wildfires are manmade and therefore preventable and enforceable.

Regarding states of emergency, new fire chief Ryan Lamb said in a memo that the city manager will authorize states of emergency for all potential emergencies no longer limited to hurricanes and will include beer on the list of prohibited items for sale.

Beer had been an exception to the rules in the previous ordinance. Mayor Joe Coviello said he hopes that people will have their beer and wine stocked in their house already but wasn’t too sure about prohibiting the sale of it unless it’s a safety issue.

“If we have fire trucks running around and police cars helping people, the last thing I want to see is a DUI situation on the road. It boils down to a safety issue,” Coviello said.

Councilmember Jennifer Nelson said she asked Police Chief David Newlan if there had been an increase of DUIs following Hurricane Irma, and the answer was no.

“Many cities do this as standard protocol, and until I see data, I don’t think we need to include beer. That’s getting into government making decisions for you, and I’m uncomfortable with that,” Nelson said.

The city will also consider an ordinance brought forth by Councilmember John Gunter amending standards regarding parking commercial vehicles and trailers on certain streets posted with signs.

The new ordinance, which pertains particularly to the South Cape, would prohibit commercial trailers or vehicles unless it is for the loading and unloading of property or goods in an area where signs are posted.

A violation would result in a $30 fine and law enforcement will be authorized to tow the vehicle, for which the violator would also be responsible for.