Shelbyville City Council: ABC laws get state-mandated update

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City has to have changes finished by next Wednesday

By Todd Martin

The Shelbyville City Council in a special, called meeting Tuesday afternoon passed on first reading an ordinance designed to clean up some language in the city’s alcoholic beverage control.

This new ordinance, which addresses changes dictated by state, could be considered for second reading and final approval at Thursday’s regular meeting, which is at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

The changes would not affect consumers so much as applicants and businesses.

The only change that would affect consumers is the ability for open alcohol sales on Election Day while the polls are open. A long-held state law was cast aside this year when the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 13. This incorporated all of the recommendations from a task force convened by the governor, which spent 6 months studying Alcoholic Beverage Control laws.

Mayor Tom Hardesty said the changes – which are being completed by City Attorney Steve Gregory and Police Chief Danny Goodwin – are mandatory because of the state’s changes.

“The changes are all in chapter sixty-two of our ordinances, and the major changes are in the list of licenses for retail drink sales and package sales,” Gregory said. “Basically we’re going from seven classifications to a larger list of classifications for licenses. The state has changed a lot of their forms and license applications, so this will mirror their changes.”

Gregory said he doesn’t believe that restaurants or retail outlets will be applying for any more licenses than in the past, just potentially different licenses.

The special called meeting for Tuesday was set so the council could meet a deadline of next Wednesday for updates.

“If we didn’t get in compliance by the eleventh, we wouldn’t be able to sell licenses at the local level,” Gregory said.

Along with licensing changes and allowing sales during polling hours on Election Day, Gregory said the other main change is to stiffen regulations on those with criminal convictions.

“Under the old law, if you had a felony or misdemeanor conviction related to alcohol, you could not hold a license for two years,” he said. “Now, it’s five years for any felony and two years for a misdemeanor related to alcohol or prescription pill use.”

Also at Thursday’s regular meeting, the council will:

Hear the first reading for an ordinance to amend the pay scale ranges for the fire and police departments.