Beer sales at ice rink up for discussion

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Saturday, September 12, 2009
— A decision to allow beer sales at the Janesville Ice Skating Center was so controversial that it’s no surprise that advertising the beer would elicit more city council discussion.

The council voted 4-3 in April to allow beer sales during Jets hockey games. The council earlier in spring OK’d a contract with Wisconsin Hockey Partners that gives the city the final say on any advertising. Wisconsin Hockey Partners owns the Jets, a Junior A hockey team.

City Manager Eric Levitt told council members in a recent memo that he allowed the Jets to put up four signs that advertise Miller beer products. Levitt said he had reviewed the tape of the council discussion before the vote before he made a decision.

That night, council member Kathy Voskuil was the only member to express caution about advertising, saying she didn’t want beer signs “plastered” all over the facility.

But that was not part of the final motion and is not in the contract, Levitt said.

“Based on one person’s comments, I can’t create intent,” he added.

Levitt did not authorize a request from Wisconsin Hockey Partners to put a Miller logo under the ice.

Council members Frank Perrotto and George Brunner have asked the council to review Levitt’s decisions.

The council could, for instance, require Wisconsin Hockey Partners to remove or cover the signs between Jets games. And, it could authorize the in-ice beer logo.

“I just felt it was probably more appropriate to discuss it,” Brunner said.

Both Perotto and Brunner said they didn’t mind the advertising during the Jets games.

“I felt that perhaps during open skate or skate lessons or high school games, it is inappropriate for the beer signs to be on display,” Brunner said.

He said he also agreed with the decision to deny the in-ice ad.

Perrotto said: “I already authorized the sale of alcohol at the arena. I don’t see any purpose at all for making it so glaring, so permanent, so children—everyone—have to look at these signs every day at the ice arena.

“If they’re going to just be up for the game and then come down, I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”


The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. It also will meet in a study session at 5 p.m. to discuss major projects it plans to borrow money for in 2009. A public listening session regularly held before the first council meeting of the month is canceled. Items on the council agenda include:

--Discussion and possible action on a request from the Janesville Youth Hockey Club Building Committee for money from the city to help build a new ice rink.

--Authorization to apply for a grant to build a 25,000-square-foot multi-tenant incubator building for businesses to be built in an industrial TIF district. The budget would be $1.5 million—75 percent coming from the grant and the remaining local match coming from the TIF district. A consortium of development interests in southern Wisconsin has identified in the Rock County area a lack of suitable manufacturing space for set-up companies needing less than 5,000 square feet.

--A public hearing to remove traffic signals at six intersections: Delavan Drive and Ogden Street, Academy Street and Milwaukee Street, Beloit Avenue and State Street, Elliott Street and Jackson Street, Jackson Street between State Street and Elliott Street, and Jackson Street and State Street.

Last updated: 11:24 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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