CANTON — Canton is one step closer to amending its ordinance regarding pool halls, but questions remain.
At last Thursday’s meeting, the recommended changes from the town’s planning board were brought before the board of aldermen, which was shorthanded after the resignation of Alderman James Markey and the absence of Mayor Zeb Smathers.
While the majority of changes seemed like they’d go over without a hitch, extending the hours of operation later than 11 p.m., the item that gave the planning board issues, seems like it may not make it into the final draft of the amended ordinance.
Assistant Town Manager Nick Scheuer began the discussion by highlighting the changes requested by Alicia Putnam, who has already been given the go-ahead by the town to open a billiards hall downtown. Those changes are allowing the business to be open Sunday, allow minors in to play, serve concessions and beer and being open past 11.
While the board seemed to be OK with the other proposed changes, staying open later than 11 gave the aldermen pause, especially considering most other downtown businesses close at 9 or 10 p.m.
The board seemed to agree with the planning board’s ultimate recommendation, which would allow the billiard hall to stay open past 11 only when necessary to wrap up tournaments, and only if the rest of the establishment remains open to the public.
“We want the doors to be open for the public so they can come and watch these players play if they want,” Putnam said.
“Those kinds of tournaments will happen only four to five times a year,” she added.
Scheuer and Town Manager Jason Burrell will draft the new ordinance, and a hearing to allow public comments on the amendments is scheduled for Aug. 8.