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Board postpones decision on Interskate 91 license modifications

Date: 4/13/2010

April 13, 2010

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Managing Editor

WILBRAHAM - The Board of Selectmen denied Wheely Fun Inc. owner Kevin Baker's request for extended hours for an upcoming event but did not vote on proposed modifications to his business' entertainment license during its April 12 meeting.

Wheely Fun Inc. does business as Interskate 91, located at 2043 Boston Rd.

Selectman Patrick Brady began the discussion by indicating there were two Interskate 91 issues before the board that evening, the first being the request by Baker to extend Interskate 91's hours of operations from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for a teen beach party skate scheduled for April 23.

Both the board and Baker acknowledged Interskate 91 had unwittingly been in violation of its license in the past when it hosted events that ran past the 10:30 p.m. closing time stated on its license without obtaining a special permit.

Baker himself admitted to the board he had not carefully examined his license in regards to hours of operation following its most recent renewal.

Regarding the April 23 request, Brady noted that as the board had requested at its April 5 meeting Baker had removed advertisements for the skate from Interskate 91's Web site.

However, based upon the outcome of recent events at the facility the board voted to deny the request citing the possibility that the extended hours may, according to Brady, "create a nuisance or health and safety situation."

On the issue of modifications to Interskate 91's entertainment license, Board of Selectman Chair David Barry reiterated certain points that had previously been established as conditions of operation.

"One, no more free events and two, no more separate lines of admission," Brady said.

These conditions were a direct result of the Feb. 14 event in which an overflow crowd of approximately 500 people filled Interskate 91's parking lot, requiring a four-town mutual aid police call for crowd control and a two-hour traffic tie up on Boston Road as the crowd tried to disperse.

Town Counsel Michael Hassett introduced a document that outlined several other proposed conditions and modifications to Interskate 91's entertainment license.

Hassett said the proposed modifications were based upon recommendations from several town department heads including the building inspector and the chief of police.

"The idea here is not to put you out of business, but to have a business that is trouble-free," Selectman James Thompson said to Baker when the proposed modifications were introduced.

Because Baker's attorney Michael Sweet did not have prior notification of the proposed modifications, Brady suggested that the board postpone their vote to allow Sweet and his client to examine the material. He also indicated Sweet and Hassett might wish to discuss any troublesome points in the language of the modifications.

"If this is the first time the Interskate 91 attorney has seen these conditions, we need to give him a chance to respond," Brady said.

Thompson said because of the Patriot's Day holiday on April 19, the board will make a decision on the license modifications for Interskate 91 at its April 26 meeting.