By Tim Preston - CNHI News Service
June 26, 2013 — Elected officials in Grayson took the first steps on the path toward legal alcohol sales Monday during a special meeting of the city council.
“This is new ground for all of us. We don’t want to go into it blind,” said Mayor George Steele, advising ABC officials in Frankfort had advised him to take no official action regarding alcohol sales until city officials have met with counsel.
The mayor said Shelly Stiner, spokes person for the Carter County Druge Free Coalition has also requested a special meeting before city officials adopt anything. City attorney Reid Glass joined the mayor in informing the city council of amended state statutes regarding portions of the rules governing alcohol sales in a fourth-class city, such as Grayson, will also become effective within days.
Glass said he will also soon be meeting with legal counsel for the state ABC board, and proceeded to review the city’s process to enact and allow the sale of beer, wine and liquor. Glass said there will be no alcohol sold in Grayson for at least 60 days, allowing the council to fully consider the situation before drafting and adopting an ordinance.
“We won’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Glass said, explaining state ABC officials have clearly defined rules which will be applied.
The city will, however, need to create a city office and have the mayor appoint an administrator to handle alcohol-related applications and issues. The administrative duties could also be assigned to a city employee, the city attorney said.
“Personally, I can’t see a long debate in writing this ordinance,” Steele said.
Council members and audience members had open discussion and exchanged information about considerations ranging from planning and zoning regulations to the possible number of package stores which will be licensed, and the possibility of limited Sunday sales at restaurants and hotels.
Council will meet with the CCDC on Thursday at 6 p.m. for another work session. The meeting will be held at the Grayson Fire Department.