Commissioners approve change of county alcohol ordinance

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by WHITLEY CLIFTON

Members of the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners convened Monday, October 19, at 6 p.m. at the John C. Coleman Hotel for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Calling the night’s confab to order, Chairman Dessie Davis welcomed all before calling upon County Administrator Guy Singletary to lead the invocation. Davis then led in the pledge of allegiance.

First on the agenda, public comments were heard from citizens of the Bethel Church Road in Twin City. Present were two ladies, who inquired on road repair issues, speeding concerns, and ordinances for residential locations and their upkeep within said area. Inquiries were also made on the new dumpsites that are currently in the process of being installed as well as camera installations at said site.

Next on the agenda, board members hosted a public hearing for the consideration of approving a beer and wine retail sale license request – no consumption on premises from 5-point store owner. Commissioner Canady inquired the convenience store owner if he was aware that license would soon have to be renewed being the timing of the year. Store owner, Mr. Patel, advised he was aware of this and still wished to be approved for said license. Commissioner Hugh Foskey motioned for approval of this request, Canady seconded, and all board members voted accordingly.

Singletary then introduced Savannah Reynolds, high school dual enrollment intern, who spoke to board members on a history project she is currently working to complete on the Coleman Hotel. She advised of her plans to have featured articles on the hotel’s history presented to the public come November or December of this year. Reynold’s featured work will also make publication in The Forest-Blade.

Minutes from recent meetings held were then read and approved by all commissioners.

Singletary then opened the floor to County Attorney Richard McNeely to provide an update on the new alcohol license ordinance for Emanuel County. He provided a brief verbal presentation of newly implemented changes for the county ordinance. Some of these changes included four types of license for purchasers to choose from: beer and wine sales with no consumption on premises, beer and wine sale with on-site consumption, package sales, and distilled spirits with on site consumption. He further advised that license requirements would be upheld by the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office and stated that the office will be responsible for the sign-off procedure associated with the approval for licenses to be obtained.

Another implemented rule discussed was that all businesses holding a license will be required to stop serving alcohol beverages at midnight and locations with license must be completely closed and vacant by 1 a.m.

Attorney McNeely further advised of new provisions regarding bring your own beer (BYOB) will be enforced in this new ordinance and must be respected and controlled as stated in papers; that no temporary license will be issued; all standard rules will be required to be upkept by all license holders; as well as a recent workshop addition being included to revoke the old law entirely when issuing new license.

It is to be noted that new applications are to be submitted within 60 days. Also, to be noted, the renewal process to obtain license should be expected to be a more detailed process. Punishments and violations of changed ordinance, whether it be patrons or license holders, will be pursued by the county. More detailed information on the ordinance will be released in an upcoming edition of The Blade.

Voting for approval of adopting the new ordinance was Foskey, who was seconded by Jim Sherrod and approved by all board members.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

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