Boshkung Brewing owner Mathew Renda expressed his “disappointment” on June 27 with a council decision two weeks prior to deny his request to close off a portion of Water Street for 10th anniversary celebrations.

The craft brewery was hoping to extend its patio onto the street facing the Gull River for a July 6 party. However, councillors deemed the day was simply too busy to accommodate Boshkung’s request. Instead, they suggested using St. Germaine Street, or having the event switched to the fall.

A “disheartened” Renda said, “Boshkung has been a cornerstone of Haliburton County for 10 years and has called Minden home since 2019. We bring thousands of visitors to our struggling community annually. As a nationally and provincially awardwinning brewery employing over 40 staff, we contribute significantly to the local economy.”

He added, “our donations to numerous local charities and organizations further demonstrate our commitment to this community. Boshkung provides Minden with a vibrant atmosphere that is sorely needed.”

He said they had been hoping to celebrate a major milestone and give back to the community and loyal supporters via the event.

“We understand July is a busy time, but we planned this specifically to leverage the increased foot traffic and the presence of cottagers. Our staffing levels are at their peak. I struggle to understand why the town would allow other organizations and charities to close roads during the summer but not us. These are the very organizations and charities that benefit from the profits of our business and our annual donations.”

Using St. Germaine, “which is full of potholes, residential homes, and a trucking yard, and affects all our parking, is simply not viable,” he added.

“We have a beautiful river in Minden we love to showcase, along with a patio we’ve invested significant effort into.”

While hosting an event in the fall was feasible, he said it was far from ideal. They already host autumn events, such as Oktoberfest, but lose customers and staff.

“I feel none of this was considered in he decision. We are trying to build a thriving business community in this town. As a board member of the chamber, I am constantly working to do more for Minden. Decisions like this not only hurt the business community but also the already struggling town,” Renda said.

Coun. Shirley Johannessen was quick to jump in.

“Local businesses play a crucial role in building up communities. The smaller businesses rely on the patronage of local residents, and in our case, cottagers in the busy months to keep them afloat within the down time the rest of the year,” she said.

She added, “Boshkung is a business that is celebrating 10 years of commercial success, employing 50 people within our County. I believe the options that we had set forward are not favourable for this event. I believe our staff had no concerns other than the parking, which I believe is manageable, and the temporary patio.

“We should be celebrating with them, and we need to show other businesses that we will support them in the same manner they’re asking for what others have received.” She called for a motion to reconsider. FURNITURE STORE • BEDROOM GALLERY HOME DECOR CENTRE • GIFT SHOP • OUTDOOR PATIO

Deputy mayor Lisa Schell and councillors Bob Sisson and Pam Sayne echoed her sentiment.

Renda said, unfortunately, it was too short notice to revise Saturday’s planned event, as they had cancelled temporary fencing and let MP Jamie Schmale and MPP Laurie Scott know they were not going ahead.

Council then decided that Renda could work with staff on an alternate summer date.

Renda said, “I’m just willing to work as much as we can to make it a community event.”