Madison's alcohol policy coordinator says changes need to be made

It's been a little over a year since Madison hired an Alcohol policy coordinator. Joel Plant was hired to work with businesses that serve alcohol along with the local government.

Already he has made key changes to alcohol policy and is looking to make even more.

Plant says he wants to prevent alcohol related problems in Madison and he met with the Alcohol License review committee to talk about what he believes will help.

Several people came to argue their sides about Madison's alcohol related issues.

Downtown resident, Robert Holloway said, "I think we are going to need approach dealing with the violence and the alcohol related problems downtown, on a number of fronts."

Joel Plant who is the Alcohol Policy Coordinator is proposing a license density plan, the plan puts stricter regulations on alcohol licensing and decreases the number of alcohol businesses in Madison.

"We will never get rid of alcohol related problems and that's not my goal my goal is to reduce the occurrence of those problems," Plant said.

Problems the Madison Police Department says need to stop.

Captain Jay Lensfeld with the Madison Police Department said, "We are hoping this will reduce the number of police calls for the Madison police department."

But not everyone is on board.

"I just think they are going about it the wrong way I believe bars and taverns are a capable responsible organization downtown," Kelly Meuer said.

Still, others say places like downtown suffer because of alcohol businesses and say this plan will only help.

Robert Holloway says, "Every bar and every liquor establishment represents one more location that some other commercial enterprise that might be more conducive to the quality of life that we which to have downtown could locate."

Existing businesses will not be affected by the Density plan.

The plan is still being worked out, it will have to get the city councils approval.

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