Grayson City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance which requires businesses to pay their alcohol-related regulatory fees on a monthly basis.
In the original ordinance, payments were made on a quarterly basis. The change was implemented, according to Mayor George Steele, in order to make compliance with the ordinance easier for the businesses which sell alcohol.
The first reading of two other ordinances were passed by the council. In the first, alcohol sales will be extended on New Year's Day and March 18, the day after St. Patrick's Day, until 2 a.m. Generally speaking, sales end at midnight on every other day. If New Years or March 18 fall on a Sunday, the two hour extension will be able to be observed on Saturday morning.
Packaged liquor and malt beverage sales on Sunday was also discussed as part of the ordinance, but it was not included in the first reading.
“I'm asking you not to throw salt in the wounds of the people who opposed the sale of alcohol in Grayson,” Rex Collins, who is part owner in the Grayson Beverage Center, told the council. “These stores that want to sell beer on Sundays are not locally owned. They are taking their profit elsewhere. Even if you decide to allow it, we will not be open on Sundays and we will continue to show our community support.”
The second ordinance creates a new position, the Deputy Alcohol Administrator. City Attorney Reid Glass said the position will be full time, since the State ABC has the authority, but not the manpower, to fully audit each territory.
“We are going to need someone who is responsible, deliberate, and able to clearly communicate, not only with those who sell alcohol, but also on the witness stand,” Glass explained. “We need to find a candidate that will be able to clearly explain why they make the decisions they make.”
The City will advertise for the position when and if they pass the second reading of the ordinance.
In other business, Council voted to keep the Motor Vehicle and Watercraft property taxes the same, at $0.1768 of $100 of assessed value. They also approved the first reading the 2013-14 final budget and approved motions to place speed bumps on Plantation drive and in a public alley near the East Side Church of Christ. Council agreed to work toward 4th and 5th street becoming two-way streets.