Alcohol ordinance would prohibit Sunday, Election Day sales in Perryville

Published 10:27 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

If the ordinance passes as quickly as the individual aspects of it were decided upon, Perryville will have an alcohol ordinance in place before sales are allowed to start in December.

One of the decisions that had to be made, said City Attorney Lynne Dean, included whether or not there would be an alcoholic beverage control officer.

“It will be a big job getting all of this set up,” Dean said.

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Ultimately, the council decided not to establish that position, which is permissible under Kentucky law because of the city’s size.

Dean let the council know that Perryville would not be able to establish a regulatory fee, which was an unfortunate surprise to members.

“It feels like we were misled,” council member Adam Gray said, questioning Dean, along with Progress for Perryville President Mike Langford and business owner Jerry Houck.

“It was always part of the conversation. We thought it would be allowed,” Houck said.

It wasn’t until after the city vote that Houck learned that wasn’t an option. Langford, however, said he had spoken to some at the state level and he believed that the “qualified” city list would be updated. Gray questioned waiting for the statute to change before instituting the ordinance.

“You might as well go ahead,” Dean said. “It’s not like people will immediately start selling (in December).”

If the ordinance isn’t passed by the time state licenses become available, Perryville could miss out on revenue from requiring local licenses as well.

Council members quickly voted to disallow Sunday sales, with Gray making a motion and Ryan Norvell seconding before it was passed. Then, Norvell made a motion to disallow Election Day sales. Gray seconded and the motion passed.

Houck and other business owners offered feedback on potential hours that sales could be allowed. The council ultimately settled on a window of 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday.

Initially, council members discussed ending sales at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.

“Are you guys really going to have business after 11 p.m.?” Norvell questioned.

Houck said, for his purposes, he would be marketing a lot to people out of town who were visiting the area, people who may not live in cities with similar hour limits. Other occasions might include wedding receptions and the annual commemoration weekend.

“I ask for as much flexibility as possible,” Houck said. He pointed out events such as the Bourbon Chase, which had been a big night for his Danville-based restaurants.

JoAnne Reynolds, who works as a nurse, said she likes the idea of a later time, because she generally doesn’t get off until late. Knowing she could stop somewhere in Perryville on her way home would be nice, she said.

“It usually seems like the world stops. That isn’t true,” she said.

Norvell eventually made a motion for hours from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday. It was passed with one vote against from Dawn Hastings.

After the meeting, Hastings explained that she had wished to give more flexibility to the business owners and the hours could be extended a bit longer. She also thought there should be Sunday sales, she said.

“Things can be amended, and hopefully they will be,” Hastings said.

The council also established the rates for license application fees at the highest that KRS 243.070 would allow. There are different annual fees allowed for different kinds of businesses, with many ranging between $1,000 and $3,000.

Norvell asked Houck how he would feel about establishing the rates that way.

“I pushed this for the city,” Houck said, adding that he wanted the city to be able to get as much as possible from the sales, because he wanted the city to profit from it.

Council member Brian Caldwell was absent from the meeting.

The first reading of the new ordinance will be at the council’s regular meeting Nov. 3. At that point, items in the ordinance can be changed.

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.