Not everyone wants Pioneer Co-op to open a liquor store on the southside, though some certainly do.
During last night's Swift Current city council meeting, a group of concerned citizens, mainly those that live adjacent to the southside co-op, attended council to plead their case against or for the addition.
Council listened to the arguments made, fielding no other discussion as this session was for reports from the public only.
The session began with Jackie Schlamp, city clerk for the City of Swift Current, reading out letters of concern and those of support to council, on behalf of citizens who could not make it to the in-person session.
"My name is Amber Snedden, I'm unable to attend this hearing but felt strongly to add my two cents to this proposal," read Schlamp. "I've spent pretty much my whole life here. I grew up in Southside Swift Current, raised my children here, and co-own a business in town. We strongly believe in supporting local the closer to home we can shop the better."
While there were a few in favour of the addition of a southside liquor store, citing how convenient it would be to be able to purchase liquor with a store on that side of the overpass, not everyone felt the same.
Schlamp read aloud one letter in particular that detailed multiple problems that already exist with the Southside Co-op. It expressed how the residents in the area, specifically those adjacent to the alleyway next to the co-op.
"We the undersigned formally oppose the Pioneer Co-op's proposed liquor store application at 2nd Avenue Southeast," read Schlamp. "Extra traffic will be created in the area, including the alley which has seen a tremendous increase of use over the past decade due to the configuration of the parking lots and the boulevards on the 300 block of 2nd Avenue Southeast."
Plenty of the complaints focused on snow removal inconsistencies, increased volumes of foot traffic in the area, and how the back alley has become a common point of contention between homeowners and the co-op.
"The back alley pavement has been wrecked due to the large semis and trucks, as well as regular traffic using the alley as a regular road.," read Schlamp. "Vehicles regularly speed at 40-50 kph, even though there are clearly posted signs saying 20 kph."
In one disturbing anecdote, it was revealed that a delivery truck driver had chosen to urinate in the alleyway, exposing himself to a minor female resident in the process.
"Contractors have been sworn at and threatened by the Coke truck driver last year," read Schlamp. "As the contractor was working, and the Coke truck was unable to get through."
The letter was signed by 13 concerned residents.
Another individual who came to council to express his disdain for the idea of the liquor store is a resident in the area. He was able to come in person to express similar concerns and spoke about the impact having a liquor store could have on the newly opened Plewis Automotive Group Park.
"It's just very frustrating," said the resident. "We just happened to go up to the Co-op here before we came here. We watched a couple people walk out of the liquor store, two cans in their hands, set them on their seat right beside them, and drive off. There's a park going to be right there. We just don't see why they need to have a liquor store in a residential area."
No decision was reached last night, as the floor was opened for council to listen to concerns, and to evaluate them against the opening of the new addition.
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