City Council debates alcohol ordinance

By Jason Dennis - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - On Tuesday night, Columbus council took one more step toward approving a hotly debated change to the city's alcohol beverage ordinance.  Several citizens spoke their mind to council about the alcohol ordinance, in an hour-long debate.

Restaurants currently are not allowed to serve alcohol if they're 300 feet away from a school, church, playground, or day care center.  But if approved, the amended ordinance will allow alcohol at restaurants, if at least 80 percent of their revenue is from food.

Councilors also plan to talk to police about it.

"If they (police) tell us there's not any real safety hazards involved and it stimulates the economy, then certainly it's worth reviewing," Columbus councilman Skip Henderson said.

Ollie Tarver is one of those who spoke out against the alcohol ordinance changes, and told us, "Most ministers are against the alcoholic changes. They don't want our children exposed."

Those in favor of the change say it would revitalize South Columbus. The 300-foot rule would still apply to bars and night clubs. Columbus council will votes on the ammended alcohol ordinance on March 10th.

"It's an economic development tool for people interested in seeing this change," Henderson said. "Certainly there's going to be people morally opposed to it, no matter what limitations we put in place."