Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
McLeansboro Passes Liquor Ordinance
MCLEANSBORO -- For the first time in 60 years, businesses in McLeansboro can apply for liquor licenses. Voters okayed the move in April. City officials spent the last five months drawing up an ordinance, allowing restaurants, stores, and clubs to sell alcohol. The city council passed the liquor ordinance on Tuesday.
Ownership at Foxy, a restaurant on the town square, hasn't decided whether or not to apply but other establishments in town have decided. Manager Robin Wilson says alcohol may not fit well in her café but expects other establishments to take advantage.
"I'm sure it'll be nice to be able to go out to dinner and have a glass of wine here in town instead of having to drive to Carbondale, Benton, or Mt. Vernon," said Wilson.
Mayor Dick Deitz says several applications have already come in to his office.
"This is a change in the community. I hope it turns out to be a good thing," Deitz said.
When an application comes in the city council and the police chief review it, a background check is conducted, and then it goes back to the city council for a vote. Deitz says liquor sales could bring in more sales tax revenue to the city but admits everyone may not approve.
"Everyone is not going to agree with this. Some people are going to like it. Some people aren't going to like it," explained Deitz.
The ordinance limits the number of licenses for restaurants and stores. Those that get licenses will only be able to sell until 10 p.m. No alcohol can be sold on Sundays.
"I want to emphasize that this can be amended at anytime. We can put more restrictions on or we can open it up depending on what the council chooses," said Deitz.
There's no telling when the first licenses will be awarded. The mayor is going to see how many applications come in then he'll call a special meeting so the council can review them.
Wind: 8 MPH
Humidity: 80 %