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Council talks about earlier bar closing times

Jun 2, 2010 10:15:00 AM - thestate.com
A Columbia City Councilwoman wants the city's bars to close at 2 a.m., and council members said they would consider the idea.

"We have a very different city at night," Councilwoman Belinda Gergel said. "A city most might not recognize."

Similar ordinances exist in Charleston, North Charleston and Greenville, Gergel said.

But the discussion this morning quickly expanded to problems at the police department, with Councilman Kirkman Finlay saying the department is not enforcing the city's anti-loitering and anti- panhandling ordinances, which he said would take care of most issues.

Council members agreed to study the issue and talk with bar owners, police officials and community leaders.