VINELAND – The City Council may reduce the amount of time residents get to address the panel during its meetings.

Council President Anthony Fanucci suggested the current 15-minute time limit be decreased to five minutes as a way to give more people a chance to speak and prevent lengthy meetings.

The suggestion was prompted by last week’s City Council work session, during which some residents voiced concerns over the recent revaluation, he said. Some of those residents opted not to speak because the meeting was lasting long with the 15-minute rule, he said.

“Everyone has the right to be heard,” Fanucci said. “The 15 minutes goes on and on and on.”

City Councilman John Procopio said his one concern is that people might not have enough time to discuss their problems or suggestions in five minutes.

However, Fanucci said, those people can meet with city officials at another time to discuss their issue.

City Council took no action on Tuesday but will review the proposal.

In other business, the council delayed action on authorizing auction of a retail liquor license linked to the Bottino ShopRite supermarket project.

Members of the governing body will give what could be the proposal’s final review during its work session next week, Fanucci said.

City Council members indicated during their work session meeting last week that they would take action on the license on Tuesday. That decision followed a review of the proposal by City Solicitor Richard Tonetta, who said all aspects of the liquor license proposal were in order.

Members of the previous City Council, whose terms expired at the end of last year, approved creation of the liquor license as part of the municipality’s development agreement with Bottino ShopRite. The current City Council will vote to authorize the auction and a minimum bid.

Under terms of the development agreement, the minimum bid for the license will be $300,000. City officials had considered setting a larger minimum bid, something Tonetta said could not happen because of the development agreement.

The project involves a 92,000-square-foot project on West Landis Avenue across from a super Walmart. The project includes sites for other retail outlets.

If Bottino ShopRite is the successful bidder, alcohol will be sold out of part of the facility with no direct access to the supermarket. That prohibited access is required under city law.

Issuance of the new liquor license is opposed by some current liquor license holders, who charge it will create an unfair business situation.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197