Public discusses potential changes to Spa City nightlife
Saratoga Springs nightlife could be ending sooner in the near future. Our C.J. Spang has the latest on proposed changes to last call in the Spa City.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Two distinct groups of people attended a public forum regarding Saratoga Springs nightlife Tuesday; those that want it toned down and those that are concerned about extra regulation.
"The people in my neighborhood have been complaining since the mid 80's about the noise and the anti-social behavior," said Spa City resident Rose Tait.
"It's good dialogue," said Gaffney's owner John Baker. "I do hope we keep our business open till four o'clock and we use alternative solutions to make it safer."
Public Safety Commissioner Christ Mathiesen wants to move last call from 4 A.M. to 3 A.M. all year, and he is also trying to work with business owners to make sure they are following current regulations because he says downtown is getting out of control.
"When you have police offers being assaulted, when you have tasers having to be used primarily down in here, when you have these issues there's something wrong," he said. "It's symptoms of a problem that needs to be dealt with directly."
"I think that this motion, this movement, should be tabled until we find out, are the steps that are being implemented now working?" said Downtown Business Association President Jeff Clark. "Let's let them play out and see if they're working."
Caroline Street may be the most prominent part of Saratoga Springs nightlife, but people say any changes in rules and regulations will reach far beyond just that street.
"If the hours are scaled back, a significant amount of business will be lost," Clark said. "What we don't know, is how that's going to affect the quality of our entertainment in Saratoga Springs."
"Saratoga Springs is a tourism city and the tourism dollar is much more important to us than the sales tax generated between 3:00-4:00 am down on Caroline Street," Mathiesen said. "We need to make sure that our reputation of being a safe place is maintained."
Mathiesen said he wants to bring his last call proposal to the city council next month.