Buses parked by East Ellsworth intersection related to village board meetingA dispute over the permit process in the Village of Ellsworth between tavern owner Jason Marks and the village board led to a symbolic protest near and East Ellsworth park Tuesday.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
A dispute over the permit process in the Village of Ellsworth between tavern owner Jason Marks and the village board led to a symbolic protest near and East Ellsworth park Tuesday.
Marks, who owns Broz's Bar in East Ellsworth, park two of the bar's mini-buses at the intersection of Hwy. 10 and Wall St. right next to East End Park. The buses were parked there Monday evening and it was in a place where street vendor Dennis DeMarce was selling sweet corn over the past week. The buses were eventually moved later Tuesday morning.
Marks addressed the village board during its monthly meeting earlier Monday evening. He spoke for 10 minutes during the public comment section of the meeting agenda.
While his address covered several topics and used several examples, the main theme dealt with a lack of consistency by the board concerning the permits. He spoke of the fact that where DeMars was selling corn was a traffic hazard that the village was allowing while he and other taverns were having hard times getting permits for premise extensions for bean-bag toss games or other events.
"I see a lack of consistency and I feel some taverns are being treated in a different manner and unfairly when it comes to permit process compared to others" Marks said. "I don't see how this vendor can get away with creating a traffic problem while I'm being threatened with citation."
Village President Gerald DeWolfe responded that the board would take up the issue of DeMarce's vending location during meeting which they did. They board approved an agreement with DeMarce to move his trucks and vending stand back from the intersection.
A few years back the board had approved a street vending ordinance that moved vending to Cross-Cut St. But vendors complained of a lack of traffic there. Technically, according to the ordinance, DeMarce's location for his business was legal according to trustee Rick Sweig. But the village worked out plan with DeMarce to move his business back away from the intersection.
In other non-agenda items concerning East Ellsworth, trustee Dick Hines said that East Enders were again suffering from odors from the biosolids plant in the industrial park. He asked if the new improvents and renovations to the plant that were discussed before the board earlier this year have finally been completed.
"They told us it would be mid-July when they would be finished and here it is August," Hines said. "We're lucky it's been a cool summer because it wasn't East End unliveable with the odors coming from the plant. People have to close their house otherwise they'll just reek."
Police Chief Greg Place discussed with the board a potential ordinance violation to the plant for the odor problem.