City leaders meet to discuss alcohol ordinance
by W. Brian Hale
Sep 01, 2011 | 2195 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DORA -- Dora city council members, Mayor Chris Edwards and city attorney Greg Williams met at a work session on Tuesday night to discuss provisions and modifications to an upcoming ordinance involving the sale and consumption of alcohol.

The ordinance, which is modeled after similar laws passed by Carbon Hill and Jasper, is expected to be approved and passed at a city council meeting next month before alcohol sales will be permitted within the Dora city limits.

Much of the ordinance that was presented to the officials will remain unchanged due to state-wide mandates that are currently in effect. The remaining provisions that the city has direct control over include decisions on the proximity an alcohol vendor could be to a school, daycare or church, the cost of an alcohol sales license, the taxation amount for each item and special considerations for sales on city property.

A topic heavily discussed was the penalties for improper sales -- including sales by unlicensed vendors or sales to underage individuals. Many leaders voiced their opinions that the violations be harshly punished, with stiff fines and possible suspension or revocation of a vendor's license based upon a review of the instance by the city council.

"We have to keep in mind that any decision we make affects not only us in the present, but successive administrations, citizens and business from the day the ordinance is passed and into the future," Edwards said. "It's extremely important that we get all of the correct information and make our best decisions now than having to amend the ordinance several times based upon circumstances that come up in the months and years that follow."