Levi Reese

Hillsboro City Commission Vice President Levi Reese, left, addresses fellow city commissioners during the commission’s three-hour meeting Monday night.

A Hillsboro city commissioner accused other city officials of violating the state’s open meeting laws and improperly approving a building permit for the mayor’s planned downtown brewery during a combative three-hour meeting Monday.

City Commission Vice President Levi Reese threatened to contact the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office to request a ruling on whether City Commissioner Mike Kress had convened an illegal special meeting of the city’s planning and zoning commission in November.

Reese said Kress appeared to disregard the city’s protocols for approving a building permit for a 15-barrel microbrewery and beer distribution center being built along Caledonia Avenue by City Commission President Terry Sando, one of the investors in Goose River Brewing.

“I don’t want to chastise anyone or put anyone down … but it is my understanding that Mike approved a building permit for our commission president to start work the same day that (the building permit) was turned in” Nov. 16, Reese told fellow commissioners.

Reese suggested Sando had created a perception in the community that he received special treatment due to his status as Hillsboro’s mayor, adding that Sando’s planned brewery may be improperly zoned as a commercial venture rather than an industrial one as well.

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