By Leeann Akers - Editor
July 26, 2013 —
The Grayson City Council passed the first reading of their alcohol ordinance on Thursday night in special session.
The meeting lasted over three hours and some issues were hotly contested.
It was decided that a alcohol sales by the drink would pay a four percent regulatory fee while packaged alcohol sales would pay six percent.
The subsection that addressed regulatory fees on gross sales in businesses that sell alcohol by the drink was struck from the ordinance for the time being.
Mayor George Steele argued that the section should stay with a lower percentage in order to add much-needed amenities to the community.
“The fees listed in the first part of this section have to go to the increased regulation, prevention, rehabilitation, that sort of thing,” Steele told the council. “Without the second section, with the fees that have no strings, we aren't going to see the parks and more recreation and those other things that are part of the public perception.”
Three motions that decreased the fee failed when a vote was taken. Finally the section was struck from the ordinance and the motion passed 4-2, with council persons Pam Nash and Juanita Kennedy voting against.
After a considerable amount of discussion, the council decided to wait until they could speak with the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control before enacting the fee, which can be done at a later date.
Alcohol sales will be allowed in packaged stores from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday. Alcohol by the drink will be sold from 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.
City Attorney Reid Glass told the Council that he expected the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to allow two liquor store licenses within the city.
“We have been led to believe there will be two, but that doesn't mean that two will be issued,” Glass said. “All those decisions are made by the state ABC.”
Glass explained that once the second reading of the ordinance is passed and published in the Journal-Times, it will be sent to the ABC. The ABC will then print notification that applications are being accepted for licenses.
Those individuals wishing to apply for a license must print a notice of their intention in the paper, and community members will have a set time limit to contact the ABC with complaints or concerns.
Once an application is in order, the ABC will issue the license.
The second reading of the ordinance will be held on July 29 at 10 a.m.