In September, 2018 the BTL Park, a child friendly space was the setting for a crowd that escaped a brawl at a bar that overlooks the park. The spillover effect resulted in shooting incidents at 95 Neals Neals Pen Road. The Pier 1 bar was clearly one of the hottest spots in the City as by December, 2018 a palapa in front of Pier 1 was lit and engulfed by flames. But before the year ended, twenty year old Asher Sanders was shot to the left side of his head. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Since then the public had demanded to know why alcohol was being sold at the family park and wanted to know why Pier 1 was still open. The call for answers went to the Belize City Council which indicated a contract was given under the previous UDP Council. Mayor Bernard Wagner had been looking at ways to resolve the issues and after the liquor license board, trade license and lease have been addressed, it seemed the business was on life support. After Love News spoke to Mayor Wagner on Monday, it was evident that Pier 1 was dead on arrival in February.
Mayor Bernard Wagner: “It has been adjusted in three areas Jose: the first one is in the area of the lease. Last week we actually served the principal owners notice of termination of lease. We served that last week so we are giving them actually 30 days notice. It is the Council’s belief again that we want that area to be used in a way that is more family friendly and so that is the reason we are moving in that area. We are looking at being certified as a sustainable Child Friendly Municipality and so we have to address the needs of our family and children and the other two areas. The Liquor Licensing Board met and unfortunately the principals of Pier One did not show up for the meeting so that is still unsettled there. The Trade License Board met and their license was deferred until there are certain criteria met.”
Jose Sanchez: “So that means currently they cannot operate until?”
Mayor Bernard Wagner: “Yes they are unable to operate. They do not have a Liquor License, they do not have a Trade License and they do not have a lease agreement to that effect.”
Jose Sanchez: “Do you expect them to try to litigate the matter?”
Mayor Bernard Wagner: “Well litigation is everyday and everybody if you feel like you haven’t gotten justice you litigate but we believe that our decision was well advised especially in respect to the lease agreement and so we await how that works out.”