Ink stink: Tattoo parlor issue draws the attention of Granby board
February 27, 2008
Granby Mayor Ted Wang took the opportunity to defend his perceived beef with pawn shops and tattoo parlors at Tuesday night’s town board meeting.
“It was an effort to frame a discussion,” he said in reference the previously broached topic of restricting future tattoo parlors and pawn shops in town, one that did not sit well with the business district.
“It was not directed to any of the existing businesses.”
Wang announced that a chunk of time has been set aside in the next town board meeting, March 11, to talk about the issue.
“It’s still a legitimate question for the town to have a discussion about, in the context of, what do we want the main street to look like?” he said.
“Does the community want a proliferation of those businesses?” he asked.
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Christy Helming, owner of Wild West Tattoo on Granby’s main strip, presented board members a petition in favor of her business with 206 names, more than half of which were Granby residents. After briefly addressing the board, she offered: “If (members of the board and the mayor) have any ideas on how to make my business better, I’m open to that too.”
Wang said his duty as a public official is to take into consideration opinions from all segments of the community. He said the loosely proposed ordinance was an effort to get community members to talk about what types of businesses the town should recruit into its downtown.
“It was not aimed at your business, and it was not aimed at the existing pawn shop. But I think it’s a legitimate question, how many of these sorts of businesses do we want?”
“I have a hard time believing the town would be proliferated with pawn and tattoo shops,” voiced Kirk Arnold, who was sworn in as trustee earlier in the meeting. It was he who had introduced the discussion topic during “citizen requests.”
Arnold said he had surveyed business owners in the downtown about the topic. Of the 28 people he approached, he said, only one would not sign his document of opinion.
“My discussion with main street businesses was that it is not up to us to legislate who is there,” he said, calling the entire tattoo/pawn shop issue “inappropriately handled.”
“I have people coming up to me over a number of years and saying we’re not
comfortable with this,” Wang said, who added that their opinions are also legitimate.
“I’m accused of running the board. I’m accused of making decisions on my own, and it’s all bull. There are seven people on this board” who also make decisions, he said.
On the lighter side, before Helming left the podium, she addressed Mayor Wang.
“I hope you will come in for the free tattoo I offered.”
“I heard about that,” Wang replied.
After seconds of laughter, Trustee Robin Trainor piped in.
“Can I pick the spot?”
The Granby Design Review Committee was successful Tuesday night in initiating the town’s help for snow removal.
Mayor Ted Wang beat committee members to the punch when the subject came up, announcing that he and Granby Streets Superintendent Joel Moore “had put our heads together last week.” The mayor already had authorized Moore to research purchasing a utility vehicle equipped for removing snow on the town’s own Agate Avenue sidewalks.
But the issue remained, would the town do a first-scrape snow removal for downtown businesses after heavy snowfalls?
In the end, trustees voted in favor of doing so for the rest of this season, and authorized the purchase of the four-wheel utility vehicle, priced around $16,000 to $19,000.
For sidewalks in front of businesses, it was stressed that the town’s help would not allay business owners’ responsibility set forth in a Granby snow-removal law.
The law states that business owners must shovel their store-front areas within 24 hours after a snowfall, or face fines for failing to do so.
Police Chief Bill Housley stated that he has been educating members of the business district about the law and plans to start enforcing it perhaps as soon as this morning, 24 hours after the last snow fall.
Trustee Charlie LeBrake said he had a problem with the 24-hour duration of time given to business owners to clear their walkways, saying it was too long.
“I think 24 hours is way too much time to get people to plow their sidewalks because it could snow three times within that time,” he said.
Jeanie Kemp of the Design Review Committee said the town’s up-and-down plow of the business district’s walkways will address a safety issue in town. Pedestrians should be able to walk up and down the streets safely and easily, she said. “We need to start working together,” she told town trustees.
The design review committee also got the OK to accept a bid from Cold Springs Greenhouse to aid in sprucing up the downtown. Cold Springs was asked to provide and grow plantings and deliver completed town planters to their locations come spring. The bid was for $28,040, which includes the cost of 42 new planters, the plants themselves and the delivery of the flower-filled embellishments to the downtown. Cold Springs was the only business out of a total of nine consulted to bid on the project.
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