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BSB Council of Commissioners votes in favor of public drinking ban

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Nov 06 2013 10:04:15 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 06 2013 10:52:48 PM MST
BUTTE, Mont. -

The Butte-Silver Bow Council of Commissioners voted six to five in favor of moving forward with the proposed open container ban.

Opinions were divided Wednesday night at the Butte-Silver Bow Council of Commissioners meeting as community members waited for the commission to decided on the proposed drinking ban.

"We should encourage, not stifle the growth and reinvestment of Uptown Butte," said owner of Metal's Sports Bar, Ray Euland.

Euland said he supports the ordinance because he thinks public drinking is holding the city back.

"We've seen small businesses leave the Uptown area because of vandalism, broken windows, puke, even piss," he explained, "and this happens after bars close when there's a crowd that's around."

But another Uptown bar owner just down the street said it will hurt his business by 40 percent.

"We don't need to change the historical value the customs and traditions of this city over a few people and ruin it for everybody," Sam Jankovich said.

Jankovich is the owner of the M&M 24-hour bar and restaurant. He explained he thinks if the ordinance goes into effect, it will impact the cultural integrity of the town.

"An open container for our city has been one of the real differentiators that people come to Butte for," Jankovich said.

But with the proposed public drinking ban approved to move forward, Jankovich said he is going to have to drastically rethink his business plan.

Commissioner Mark Moodry was absent/excused from Wednesday's meeting.

The proposal will now move into its third stage and the commission will officially vote to approve it at the next council meeting.

If approved, public drinking will be banned in Butte and the surrounding urban area between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Those are the same hours it is illegal to sell alcohol in Montana.