July 31, 2013 — Grayson City Council passed the first reading of its alcohol sales ordinance on Thursday night and the second on Monday morning.
It took more than an hour to read the ordinance in its entirety at both meetings.
Council decided that alcohol sales by the drink would require a four percent regulatory fee while package alcohol sales would be assessed at six percent.
The subsection addressing regulatory fees on gross sales in businesses that sell alcohol by the drink was struck from the ordinance, at least temporarily.
Mayor George Steele argued that the section should stay with a lower percentage in order to add much-needed amenities to the community.
“I think it is a mistake to completely legislate this section out,” Steele told the Council on Monday. “It is deceptive to bring in new businesses and then put this fee on later on. Nothing is unfair in government if you put it in before they come in. Nothing is unfair if they know coming into it.”
“The fees listed in the first part of this section have to go to the increased regulation, prevention, rehabilitation, that sort of thing. “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 from two percent failed when a vote was taken last Thursday.
Finally, the section was struck from the ordinance on a 4-2 vote, with Council members Pam Nash and Juanita Kennedy voting against.
After considerable discussion, Council decided to wait until they could consult with the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) before enacting the fee, which can be done at a later date.
State ABC had not returned calls to city attorney Reid Glass on Monday.