LEESBURG — The Leesburg Town Council met on Monday, Aug. 8, and was faced with the decision to de-annex the now empty Leesburg Mill from the town in order for the owner to obtain a liquor license.
Steve Snyder, speaking on behalf of the Leesburg Mill, presented the case of why the board should approve separating the building and the land just to the east of the building from the county. Because of concentration of liquor licensing in the area, the Mill could not receive a liquor license if the building continues to be a part of the county.
Stefan King, owner of the Leesburg Mill, wants to open a microbrewery in the Mill. King explained that he wants to begin manufacturing beer on site as well as establishing a family restaurant and beer pub.
King indicated he wanted to bring a brewery to this particular building partially because of the drainage in the building making it ideal for this type of business. He also mentioned this building is the closest in the Kosciusko County area to being ready for his brewery.
King reassured the board this would not be a “party venue”, but rather a place to bring people from out of town to the Leesburg area.
The board opened the topic to discuss for members of the community. Tyler Hayes who owns Stacy’s Restaurant in Leesburg was quick to ask, “I’m just wondering if his sewage bill is going to be as much as mine,” Hayes added, “You’d be surprised to know that I’ve paid about $120,000 in sewage bills.” Other local restaurant owners were in agreement that sewage bills can be a determinant for individuals wanting to open up new restaurants.
King mentioned he was well aware of the high restaurant rates for sewer bills and is prepared for high costs.
While the pub would in competition with other area restaurants, King mentioned this would bring new people to the town which would help everyone. Hayes replied, “On one hand it’s direct competition, but it is good to bring new people.”
Council Member Tom Moore added, “It would be advantageous for everyone for the building to be used for something.”
After discussing the pros and cons of the brewery, the council unanimously decided to approve the de-annexation of the building.
The council got into a heated discussion during the sanitary sewer report about whether to purchase a spare pump for the sewage line on State Road 15. The supposed indestructible two-pump sewage system was made to withstand the both pumps breaking at once, however, they recently both broke at one time.
The discussion centered around whether they should rebuild the old pump to use as a spare in addition to purchasing a new pump. The council made a motion to repair the existing pump which was not approved by the members.
The next meeting will be on Monday, September 13.
- The council discussed the status of the Church Street paving, which is to be completed in September.
- The council discussed the paving grant Leesburg is anticipating receiving.
- A community member voiced concern about a 30 mph speed limit between Plum and Van Buren streets. The board decided to put children at play signs in place.