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City to vote on ordinance allowing for liquor sales on the Town Common

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By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Greenville City Council is scheduled to vote today on allowing for the sale and consumption of liquor on the Town Common.

On August 9, the council received a presentation by city staff regarding the creation of an ordinance that would allow for the sale and consumption of liquor and fortified wine in the city park. 

Following the presentation, the council unanimously directed staff to draft an ordinance for it to review. 

The discussion was requested by District 3 Councilman Will Bell, who said he believed allowing for the change would be beneficial to bringing larger events to Greenville, as well as offering more entertainment options for residents.

“While we try to activate the Town Common more and more we have to have things that would off-set the cost of a bigger act,” said Bell. “I figure this could be one more avenue to generate revenue and profit for anyone who would want to hold an event.”

According to a staff presentation by Assistant City Manager Micheal Cowin, state law would allow for an ordinance allowing for a one-time permit to be issued to a nonprofit organization renting the park. Cowin said many other cities in North Carolina have a similar permitting process.

Other restrictions imposed on the permit could include a designated alcohol zone, a cutoff about 10 p.m. and a minimum amount of police officers to be hired for the alcohol area.

The vote follows implementation of a similar ordinance that has allowed for the sale of wine and beer during events at the park. Several events including PirateFest and a weekday summer concert series have used the ordinance to sell beer and allow drinking in large areas of the park with security measures in place.

Many events on the common, including the popular Sunday in the Park series, which held its last show of the season on Sunday, and the city’s annual July 4 celebration, did not allow sale and consumption in the park.

The council passed a trial beer ordinance in March 2017 that expired in December. The board in January put a slightly modified ordinance into effect with no sunset clause to allow event promoters to seek permits for beer and wine sales.

Also at the meeting on Monday, the City Council is scheduled to receive the results of a joint feasibility study on the creation of a united Pitt County economic development plan. 

Contact Seth Gulledge at 252-329-9579 and sgulledge@reflector.com

 

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