The city of Warsaw will have a second riverfront district.

Monday night, the common council approved the Gatke Riverfront District as presented by Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Alan Tio. Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner is on vacation this week and Tio presented the district on Skinner’s behalf.

The other riverfront – which is along Center Lake – was expanded a few years ago to include parts of Ind. 15 and downtown Warsaw, including the northern part of Buffalo Street. A riverfront district provides the opportunity for more eating establishments to seek alcohol permits from the Alcohol Tobacco Commission, which is how One Ten Craft Meatery downtown Warsaw and other establishments along the Center Lake district were able to get alcohol permits.

Tio told the council the riverfront district was another tool in the box to encourage economic growth in the community, especially more amenities, which the city has used before. He said it corresponds with the Gatke economic development area, which the council previously approved.

Mayor Joe Thallemer said, “This allows for anyone in this district to apply for a riverfront alcohol license. It does not say that they’re automatic. They all have to go to the ATC. ... This just allows for them to apply. It does not give them a license.”

He said the licenses are different type of license. There’s no value to them, they’re not transferable and are used just for an individual business.

When Councilwoman Cindy Dobbins asked if there was a limit to the number of licenses in the riverfront district, Tio said there was none but there are limitations.

Councilman Ron Shoemaker asked, “Do we have anybody talking to us about establishing a business in the district?”

Tio said HopLore Brewery announced its second location will be in the district. He said it’s a great area to encourage some development and a diversity of development. The riverfront licenses are only good for restaurants and not carry-out liquor stores.

Scott Woods, owner of Noa Noa and Spike’s Beach Bar Grill, said he was excited about it.

“I just know that restaurants drive the area and over the 30 years that I’ve been out there, one of the hindrances has been the licenses have not been available,” Woods said. “Any of these cities and towns that have had these riverfront districts, it’s opened up the restaurant world because being in the restaurant world, to be successful, or at least survive these days, you have to have that license.”

He said there’s a profit margin there that keeps moving it forward.

“This is a great opportunity for this area, and Warsaw in general,” Woods said.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a resolution making reductions to the 2019 budget totaling $812,310. The cuts are money not spent this year which the various departments have no intention of encumbering for 2020.

The reductions include $600,310 in the general fund; $88,000 in the fire territory; $90,000 in parks and recreation; $9,000 in cemetery; and $25,000 in aviation.

• Approved a resolution to contract for professional legal services for the council, as discussed at its Oct. 7 meeting. Six of the council members voted for it, with District 1 Councilman Jeff Grose opposed.

Council President Diane Quance said, “I wanted to make it clear that passing the resolution to hire the attorney does not automatically pass any kind of contract that we would go into as far as how the services are accessed, utilized, things like that.”

She said the council would need to decide what they wanted in the contract and it would have to be negotiated.

“At this point, we’re only looking at, basically affirming the right that is already given to us in Indiana code. So that right is already there,” she said.

The issue arose after an incident earlier this year.

Two Warsaw Police Department officers were suspended for 10 days after copying body camera video in violation of department policy and providing that footage to two city councilmen.

Following that incident members of the council looked into having their own legal counsel, separate from the city attorney.

• Heard from Thallemer that he was visited by the Hoosier Lottery director a couple of days ago who provided him with statistics on where the money goes in Kosciusko County.

For fiscal year 2018, the county received a total of $13,224,604. Of that, $357,757 went to the Teacher’s Retirement Fund; $78,322 to the Police and Firefighters’ Pensions; $2,923,063 to Build Indiana Fund; $8,874,930 was payments to winners; and $990,532 was payments to retailers.

• Approved on second reading, the 2020 general salary, police salary, fire salary and elected salary ordinances. All four were approved on first reading at the council’s Oct. 7 meeting.