Public hearings have now been held in all four districts in Maysville with the majority of residents attending the meetings being opposed to the sale of beer and wine in the town.
Tuesday night, Ward 2 council member Lynn Villyard held a hearing with more than 30 people attending. Ten people spoke on the proposed beer and wine ordinance with all but two being opposed to the issue. Last week, hearings were held by the other three council members with the majority of those attending those meetings also opposed to the ordinance.
A work session will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, at the public library for the council to review comments from the four town hall meetings.
A first reading on the proposed beer and wine ordinance will be held when the council meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, at the public library. A work session will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the public library.
The Maysville City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow beer and wine to be sold at restaurants in the town. The council is reportedly considering the ordinance because a restaurant owner requested it earlier this year. Another resident of the town is reportedly renovating a building to locate sports tavern and wants to be able to offer beer and wine.
At this week’s meeting, Trent Strickland, who has lived in the town for 52 years and is a former council member, said: “I am opposed to this ordinance. I feel the people of Maysville are overwhelmingly against this.”
Chris Ray said he sees no benefit to allowing beer and wine sales.
“There will not be enough tax revenue,” he said. “It will put our town’s people at risk. This is cut and dried. Do you want drinking in this town or not. I say, ‘no.’”
John Lewallen said the town doesn’t have the infrastructure and manpower needed if a beer and wine ordinance was approved.
Among those speaking in favor of beer and wine sales was Caroline Ross, who has lived in the town since 1997.
“I don’t see it being a hot bed of bars and drunken people,” she said. “I see it as someone being allowed to have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with a hamburger.”
Debbie Akins, who is planning a sports pub in the town and wants to offer beer and wine, said the ordinance would give control to business owners over alcohol being served. She said business owners can now allow people to bring their own beer and wine and they have no control over how much they drink. As a business owner who sales beer and wine, she said she could control how much someone is served.
Council member Villyard was asked to speak on the benefits of approving the ordinance.
“I am not opposed to it,” she said of beer and wine being allowed. “There is still a lot to be discussed about it. As a civic leader, we have to look at a broader context. This could contribute to some downtown development. Perhaps it would attract more business. In the larger context, people do view this (beer and wine sales) as a common expected mainstream expectation. It is very much a part of mainstream society.”
She pointed out that restaurants such as Longhorn and Outback serve alcohol and Ingles and Wal-Mart sale beer and wine.
“People go in restaurants and stores where it is very much a part of mainstream society,” she said. “I don’t think alcohol will save the day but I think it is what people consider to be mainstream.”