The Greenfield City Board and members of the Beer Board held a joint meeting on August 16 to consider approving beer applications for a couple of local businesses.
Under the terms of the City’s recently revised beer ordinance, the distance allowed between businesses that sell, manufacture or store beer to gathering places such as churches, schools, and daycares is reduced from 2,000 feet to 200 feet. The distance limitation is measured from property line to property-line.
As was mentioned by City Attorney Beau Pemberton, during the City’s last regular monthly meeting, both businesses seeking a beer license meet the legal requirements outlined in the ordinance regulating beer sales. At that time, Pemberton stated because these establishments conform to the requirements set forth in the beer ordinance, which was recently approved by the City Board, they cannot legally be denied a license.
Beer applications were submitted by Casey’s General Store, located at 101 Forrest Street, and Cox Oil (Little General) at 1845 S. Meridian Street. After reviewing the applications, the beer permits were approved by a vote of 3-2. Alderpersons voting in favor of granting the licenses were Bobby Morris, Mark Galey and Kelly Keylon. Alderpersons voting against issuing the beer licenses were Donald Ray High and Leanna Stephenson. Board members James Roy Pope, Don Allen and Chris Turbyville were absent.
The issue has been hotly debated during recent city board meetings, with both sides explaining their reasoning for supporting or voting down the beer ordinance.
Before the revised beer ordinance was approved, the only store allowed to sell beer in City of Greenfield was The Tobacco Superstore, located at 3770 North Meridian Street (Hwy 45 four-lane) on the outskirts of town.
According to Pemberton, The Tobacco Superstore, which has been in operation for several decades, was grandfathered in based on prior usage and location. He explained the store was selling beer before the ordinance initiating the 2,000-foot rule was passed several decades ago.
The revised ordinance gives more local businesses the opportunity to apply for a license to sell beer.
However, the beer ordinance allows packaged beer sales only, not on-premises consumption.
According to Mayor Cindy McAdams, businesses wishing to sell beer at their establishments must complete an application and turn it into the city with a $250 application fee. She stated the applications will be reviewed by the beer board within 30 days, and there must be public notice before the beer board meets.
As discussed during prior meetings, Pope stated the revenue generated from beer sales will be earmarked for paving and otherwise maintaining city streets, which will hopefully eliminate the need for the city to raise property taxes or levy a new tax, such as a wheel tax or some other type of tax, to keep up the streets.