Borough lauds fire chief, taps into brewery trend

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Ordinance amendment delineates sizes, types of craft-beer operations

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Kennett Square Police Chief Edward A. Zunino (from left, and Mayor Matt Fetick pose with Kennett Fire Company No. 1 Chief Steve "Monk" Melton.

Kennett Square Police Chief Edward A. Zunino (from left, and Mayor Matt Fetick pose with Kennett Fire Company No. 1 Chief Steve “Monk” Melton and his Certificate of Appreciation.

Kennett Fire Company No. 1 Chief Steve “Monk” Melton was less than thrilled when Police Chief Edward A. Zunino told him that he would be receiving a citizen’s Certificate of Appreciation at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting.

Not that Melton didn’t appreciate the recognition; however, couldn’t he just meet Zunino in some private location and avoid any public hoopla? No way, Zunino said he told him.

Instead, the chief told the audience at the meeting that Melton had played an invaluable role in apprehending a burglary suspect while off-duty. Zunino said Melton had remembered a detailed description of the man, saw someone who matched it, followed him to a residence, called police, and then waited for officers to arrive.

 Zunino said he could not be more specific because the case is pending; however, he said the charges could not have been filed without Melton’s assistance.

“I want to thank you for your incredible service to the borough that goes on and on …” added Mayor Matt Fetick after he and Zunino presented Melton with his award.

In other business, Borough Council toasted the growing craft-beer industry by unanimously approving an ordinance amendment that adds a host of “brewery” definitions, including brewpubs, microbreweries, nanobreweries and wine bars. For example, a microbrewery is defined as producing fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer annually with 75 percent or more sold off-site while a nanobrewery produces fewer than four.

Borough Manager Brant Kucera explained that the ordinance was designed to attract appropriate businesses to the right locale, depending on the size and scope of the operation. “We’re not going to allow a large manufacturing brewery in the center of town,” he said.

Council also voted to approve four special-event applications: the Mushroom Festival Parade on Sept. 6, the Mushroom Festival from Sept. 6-8, the Brewfest on Oct. 5, and a June 27 family picnic at The Garage.

Borough Council President Dan Maffei said he and other council members recently enjoyed attending the annual gala hosted by the Historic East Linden Project. He said the fund-raiser helps sustain valuable programs such as the after-school “Study Buddies,” which is currently coping with 12-year-old computers. He also encouraged members of the audience to check out the new historic plaque that was unveiled at the entrance to the neighborhood.

After the meeting, Mary Hutchins, executive director of Historic Kennett Square, said that three brewery businesses had expressed recent interest in the borough. With the passage of the ordinance, she said that the interest might now accelerate into a proposal.

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