City Hall was filled Tuesday as the City Council met for their first of two monthly meetings. The item that brought out the crowd was a vote on an amendment to the City’s liquor ordinance. The amendment though did not pass, falling 3-2.
Items included in the proposed amendment were removing the cap on the number of liquor licenses issued in the city, allowing more open sale of beer and wine at events held in the city, allowing the sale of alcohol at all hotels, and permitting employees 19 and older to sell alcohol at establishments that sell adult beverages.
A number of speaker’s cards were used by members of the public in attendance. The consensus among those who spoke was opposition to the amendment, specifically because of the removal on cap on the number of liquor licenses in the City. The reason for this opposition was concerns that locally owned businesses that sell alcohol would be negatively impacted, and potentially put out of business by chain retailers.
The 3-2 vote saw Mayor Jeff Bloemker and City Commissioner Kevin Willis vote in favor of the amendment. Commissioners Merv Gillenwater, Kevin Esker, and Don Althoff voted against the measure.
It is possible that changes to the City’s liquor code could be brought back at a future meeting. If that occurs, it would be likely that the changes within the previously proposed amendment would be voted on as separate amendments.