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Published September 21 2010

New bars raise concerns for West Fargo residents

West Fargo is getting another bar – possibly two – near the Pioneer Center, but many nearby residents don’t like it.

Several residents spoke out Monday night against the approval of liquor licenses for two additional food and alcohol establishments off Ninth Street East and 13th Avenue.

West Fargo commissioners ultimately approved the license for JL Beers, to be built on the vacant lot at 810 13th Ave. E., but delayed action for two weeks on the license for Bar Nine, to be located in the Technology Center building, 1405 Prairie Parkway.

Commissioners want city staff to work with Bar Nine owners about the possibility of constructing a fence behind the technology center, so as to minimize the bar’s impact on the homes directly behind it.

Five alcohol establishments already operate in the area, and residents, like Ron and Edie Braaten, said that’s more than enough since they continue having problems from loud noise associated with the local bars and their nighttime patrons.

“We’re tired of it. How many bars do we have to have in this town? What about people?” Edie Braaten said to the commissioners, her voice cracking with emotion.

The owners of both JL Beers and Bar Nine said their establishments are more restaurants than bars and won’t cater to a party or nightclub atmosphere.

Commissioners said they understood residents’ concerns and plan to discuss whether they need to adjust how they handle liquor licenses in the future. West Fargo police also plan to step up patrols to enforce noise violations.

Also Monday, commissioners approved a $32.3 million budget for 2011, which includes a $1 increase for monthly garbage collection and an extra 50-cent charge for every 1,000 gallons of water used. The mill levy won’t change.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541