City moves to allow earlier alcohol sales on Sunday
Published 12:50 pm Monday, October 10, 2022
In a move that drew celebration from some and frustration, an ordinance change occurred at the Winchester Board of Commissioners meeting last Tuesday night.
During the first reading, a 4-1 vote passed amending a section of the Winchester Code of Ordinances that will allow alcohol sales hours to be moved from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Commissioner Shannon Cox was the dissenting vote.
Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Banks supported the move.
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“It is the job of us to be an advocate for our businesses,” said Banks. “The chamber supported this bill in the beginning, and I’d like to go ahead and say that the Chamber is supporting this amendment.”
However, not all citizens speaking shared the same opinion.
In opposition, resident Pat Clark spoke against the change, mainly on religious grounds.
“To me, this is a blatant desecration of the lord’s day [by] allowing alcohol, intoxicating beverages to be sold on his day,” Clark said.
Clark noted that 11 a.m. might interfere with worship time at particular churches.
Chad Walker, co-owner of Engine House Pizza Pub on Lexington Avenue, contended that the issue was not religious.
“That’s not why we’re here today … We’re not standing up there saying what they should do. We’re just saying what we should do”, Walker said. “Businesses which are downtown have petitioned to make this small alteration, and there’s no concrete data that says the 11 to 1 o’clock [change] increases substantially DUIs, health, [or] anything else. It’s just a freedom.”
Other speakers opposing the amendment included Pastor Lee Cruse of Grace Bible Church, while speakers in favor included Megan Sum, manager of Loma’s at the Opera House.
A starting date for the change has not been announced, and there is a second reading to follow at a future meeting.
In other news, changes along Depot Street might soon be coming.
The Winchester Tree Board formally requested to plant a pair of trees along Depot Street.
“The location is at the corner of Highland [Street] and Depot [Street], right down from Abettor [Brewing Company],” said Shana Cecil, a board member and Residential Stormwater Inspector for the city of Winchester. “We would be planting two large Burr Oaks and then two small burr oaks in between the light posts.”
The cost would be approximately $2,000, which the Winchester Tree Board has the funds for.
The grass strip where it would take place is a part of city property.
The request received approval, contingent on agreement and support from the farmers’ market.
Recently, $14,000 was directed to be moved from the general account to a TIF account.
TIF (Tax Increment Financing) is a state program that allows developers to apply a portion of newly generated taxes from an area to pay for a project’s public infrastructure
With concerns, Adam Kidd – a local businessman who owns the McEldowney Building and is a project administrator at Dam Holdings LLC – spoke.
“I still implore you to use common business practice, which is the rotation of auditors. I think the school board just did that. I think most businesses do that for the sake of transparency, and it’s safe for accountability”, he said.
City Manager Mike Flynn also spoke.
“The participation agreement had not been tapped into by any entity in order to pull funds from it or disperse funds from it in order to do anything with it,” he said. “With not an actual TIF agreement in place with any entity, the need to audit those funds or say that those funds had not been utilized…in defense of the auditor, he wouldn’t have audited that just as an agreement.”
There are differing opinions about the management or mismanagement of funds associated.