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Council member behind commingling law says 'College Night' is okay

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Buffalo: Council member behind commingling law says 'College Night' is okay
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Despite a legal battle over an ordinance which restricts people under 21 from getting into Chippewa District bars, one of the establishments involved is having a "College Night" on Friday. The council member who created the ordinance tells YNN's Ryan Whalen it's perfectly fine.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Despite the rumors, Buffalo Common Council Member Darius Pridgen says the so-called "Commingling Ordinance" did not put an end to 18 and over College Nights on the Chippewa Strip.

"Before the ordinance or zone was in place, what occurred is we had no idea who was doing commingling," said Pridgen, (D).

Pridgen says all a club has to do now is apply for a permit, which allows the city to have a handle on what's happening in the district.

"We can't sit back and allow one street to monopolize the majority of the police department for the entire city simply because they don't want to communicate with the city," Pridgen said.

Clubs in Niagara Falls, Ontario get many young people from Western New York too. But the rules are different.

"You're licensed or you're not which means minors can come in, so it's up the club to set those rules and regulations," said Jim Diodati, Niagara Falls mayor.

But Diodati says clubs are expected to control their own crowds.

"No one washes their hands of the problem. Anyone who is part of creating the problem has to be a part of resolving the problem."

"Canada has dealt with it because they have great communication between the club owners and the government and the government of Canada will shut those clubs down with the quickness," Pridgen said.

But Pridgen says the dynamic in Canada is different, primarily because of the younger drinking age.

"It's almost like trying to compare New York to Idaho – totally different."

Pridgen says he's open to any ideas that help keep the Chippewa district safer for everybody.

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