UPDATE: Councilmember submits request to reconsider vote protesting renewal of The Spur's liquor license

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Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 11:14 AM AKST
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UPDATE: Councilmember Valerie Therrien has submitted with the City Clerk’s Office a request to reconsider the vote for the motion to protest renewing The Spur’s liquor license. When approached for comment, Councilmember Therrien claimed that the request was a courtesy to the owners, giving them a chance to respond to City Council concerns about the volume of incidents at the location.

ORIGINAL STORY: Fairbanks City Council made a motion Monday night to protest renewing a liquor license for The Spur, an establishment in downtown Fairbanks.

This motion came after deliberation by the council, as well as testimony given by Lt. Greg Foster of the Fairbanks Police Department.

Councilmember Valerie Therrien initially voiced concern regarding the establishment, referring to a Public Safety report which cited 89 incidents as having taken place on The Spur’s property requiring police intervention in the last year. Therrien specifically mentioned assaults and drug use as primary points of concern.

Lt. Foster claimed that the establishment creates a drain on police resources on multiple fronts, including having a need to station police officers near the establishment on weekends. Foster also cites an incident from a previous year when he directed one of his officers to be at the location, and after observing an altercation, the stationed officer witnessed one of the parties retrieve a rifle from their vehicle before intervening.

Councilmembers expressed their frustration that nobody representing the establishment was present at the meeting. Their deliberations included concern for the safety of the citizens of Fairbanks, and Councilmember Shoshanna Kun mentioned the scarcity of police resources in Fairbanks -- an issue that has been brought up frequently during council meetings -- as a reason to protest the establishment’s renewal.

Councilmember Jerry Cleworth reminded the council that if they voted to protest renewing the liquor license, this motion would only act in an advisory capacity and that the state gets final say in the matter.

The council then voted unanimously to protest renewing the Spur’s liquor license, with the exception of Councilmember Aaron Gibson who was absent from Monday night’s meeting.

This story is ongoing and will be updated as more details become available.

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