Radcliff sets new alcohol standards

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Palmer said council did not compromise enough for those harmed by alcohol

By Marty Finley

After a meeting Monday full of debates and discussion surrounding alcohol, the majority of Radcliff City Council was silent Tuesday afternoon as it repealed the city’s old alcohol ordinance and placed a new set of regulations in place.

The council authorized the new ordinance, 5-1, as the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrator Ashley Russo now turns her attention to reviewing license applications filing in before they move on to the state.

Councilman Edward Palmer was the lone dissenting vote and said he could not support the ordinance as written because he felt it did not go far enough in respecting those who voted against alcohol and those adversely affected by alcohol in the community.

“I don’t think we compromised or worked hard enough,” he said.

The council approved the ordinance in front of a handful of residents at Radcliff City Hall. Unlike Monday, no one asked to approach the council or weigh in on the ordinance.

Palmer, alongside Councilman Stan Holmes, fought to set hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday for distilled spirit and wine sales but fell to the majority, who felt all hours of operation should be uniform at 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

The council agreed to the 8 a.m. starting time for alcohol sales until City Attorney Michael Pike learned state law requires retail beer sales to be set no later than 6 a.m. Once discovered, the council decided to roll the clock back two hours for distilled spirits and wine sales as well.

The ordinance permits Sunday sales from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday.

Also, Palmer and Holmes urged the council to keep a special notice clause in the ordinance requiring applicants for alcohol licenses to alert churches, hospitals and schools within a 200-foot radius of the proposed alcohol establishment.

Palmer said the special notice was warranted because those businesses identified are “sensitive” and deserve extra respect from the city. But most of the council said the notice was unnecessary because the state already has a system in place that requires applicants to advertise their intent to pursue a license. The state also provides a window for residents to protest each application.

Palmer said he hoped the council could move past the alcohol ordinance and reignite the spirit of unity it has embraced throughout the year.

“We’ve done great things and I know there are greater things in store for us,” he said.

In addition to hours of operation for alcohol retailers, the ordinance designates 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday as the window wholesalers or distributors can deliver and sell products. Wholesale distribution and sale is prohibited on Sundays.

The ordinance also defines license fees, setting restaurant drink, retail drink and retail package licenses at $1,000 annually. Retail malt beverage licenses are $200.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.