Security to be improved if Cape passes ordinance extending bar hours

The conversation over bar closing times is officially back on the table. The debate is heated over whether Cape Coral bars should be allowed to stay open past their current 2 a.m. closing time.

“An extra drink, that’s not so good when you get behind the wheel,” said Cape Coral resident Bill Terrill.

The ordinance is up for discussion at next week’s council and community redevelopment meetings.

Lynn Pippenger is the owner of Dixie Roadhouse on Southeast 47th Terrace. The idea to keep bars open later isn’t a new one in Cape Coral—and Pippenger wants to see it come back.

“It gives us something to market, it makes us something different,” Pippenger said.

New documents show city staff’s recommendation to test the extra hour from this April to next, giving them one year to evaluate their pilot program during and after the 47th Streetscape project.

But there will be requirements for businesses that stay open that extra hour. They will need to provide a security camera system that records during all business hours and meet with the Cape Coral Police Department once per month to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly.

They will also have to hire their own security personnel.

 

To keep patrons safe, police are recommending new technology to bars like a “patronscan”, that identifies fake IDs and verifies ages.

In a letter to the mayor and city council, the city manager and police chief say it would cost more than $150,000 in overtime for police during those extended bar hours. City staff recommends the city cover those fees during the trial period.

See the full ordinance proposal below.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
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